Monitoring change at Indigenous rock art sites in Australia

09th October 2014

Tourist signing the visitor book at the Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge (photograph by Phillip Habgood).

Tourist signing the visitor book at the Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge (photograph by Phillip Habgood).

Natalie Franklin

Change operates constantly on Indigenous rock art sites, caused by a range of natural and artificial agents. It is important for site managers to be aware of, understand and monitor natural processes in order to protect sites and prevent further deterioration. It is equally important to monitor changes in visitor pressure at sites, including the seasonality of visitation, visitor profiles and visitor attitudes towards sites. This paper outlines and critically reviews five main methods used for monitoring change at rock art sites. Each method is illustrated using Australian examples, and the implications of these studies for site protection and management highlighted. It is argued that methods for monitoring change need to be carefully selected and applied by site managers according to the goals of management, especially given the limited availability of funds and expertise. Site histories, a critical component of site monitoring, should be adopted as standard practice for rock art management across Australia.

Franklin, N.
Monitoring change at Indigenous rock art sites in Australia
December 2014
79
Article
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