Archive for Protection – Salvaguardia

Vandalism and Falsification of Rock Art

Especially in this time of a dangerously increasing amount of online (deep) fake-news, outrageous lies, falsified photos and misleading information that are used to – for instance – “justify” a disgusting and horrible war in Europe, it should not be tolerated that similar false illustrations are being used in scientific publications by academic professionals. In the following two publications I expose and criticize some of those incorrect illustrations in rock art publications, focusing on the Majes Valley in Peru (Revised September 2023).

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Rock Art of La Caldera, Southern Peru

This paper again demonstrates that in the area of the Majes Rock Art Style (Arequipa; southern Peru) many sites are firmly and ritually connected with at least one of the Sacred Mountains (the Apus) of the area. Those volcanoes play an important role in selecting spots for rock art production. La Caldera is one of those sites.

By Maarten van Hoek

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Updating the Rock Art near Huaca Blanca, Peru

Many rock art sites are easily destroyed, also in Peru, especially because of road constructions or mining activities. This paper describes three petroglyph sites near the village of Huaca Blanca in northern Peru. Especially Huaca Blanca has already been partially destroyed by unwanted quarrying. This paper offers a brief inventory of what is (was!) available during our surveys. The thumbnail to the right shows a prehistoric petroglyph next to recent damage.

By Maarten van Hoek

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The Case of Guelta Oukas, Morocco


Very recently several petroglyphs at the rock art site of Guelta Oukas in the Anti Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco were severely damaged. However, the mutilation was limited to two panels with mainly depictions of cattle and – moreover – to specific body parts of those zoomorphic images. In this paper I argue that this is not just another case of unwanted vandalism. Instead, I propose that the mutilation at Guelta Oukas could represent an instance of ‘negative’ rock art, involving the desecration of the images.

by Maarten van Hoek
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Save Mount Latmos rock art! (petition)

Einzigartige Natur- und Kulturlandschaft vor

Karadere Cave

On line petition (please sign it!) to the Turkey Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs. Discovered in 1994 by the Berlin archaeologist Dr. Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat, these rock paintings date back to the 6th and 5th millennia B.C.  They are now greatly endangered by increased stone quarrying in the area: the exploitation of feldspar is causing the drastic metamorphosis of the Latmos from a sacred mountain into a source for bathroom installations!

by APB (online petition)

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Latmos Mountains (Turkey), endangered rock paintings

Latmos paintings

Baliktas paintings

The living environment of the Latmos Mountains and of its communities are threatened by the deforestation caused by feldspar quarrying. The cultural heritage looks back upon a long history, from the Neolithic period up to the Ottoman Empire. More than 170 sites of rock drawings (6th/5th millennia BC) are known, representing one of the most important discoveries in prehistoric archaeology during the past decades in Anatolia. Television documentaries, newspaper reports, symposia and demonstrations, have not succeeded in preventing the devastation of the landscape… please sign the online petition!

by Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat

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Chiza, Interpreting Digitally Restored Petroglyphs

Chiza petroglyph

Chiza Petroglyphs

The goal of this paper is to offer the interested reader a digital restoration and interpretation of the images of a vandalized petroglyph boulder located in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Its damaged face underscores the urgent necessity to ([photo])graphic record rock art sites in general. It is hoped that very soon a complete survey will be made of the Chiza petroglyph site and that the official survey will be made available to rock art researchers.

by Maarten van Hoek

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The Motocachy Pampa Disaster, Peru

Figure 011a

Motocachy Pampa

The UNESCO’s World Heritage List now registers almost a thousand properties. Only two percent of the World Heritage List comprises rock art sites. Regrettably 44 of those properties are in danger, which proves that being on the World Heritage List is not a guarantee that nothing will endanger the site. I will focus the discussion mainly on rock art sites in the deserts of western Peru.

by Maarten van Hoek –

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Danni alla Pera ‘d la Spina – The Thorn Rock damaged

spina150Nell’aprile del 2013 è stata danneggiata la Pera ‘dla Spina di Reano, una delle prime rocce a coppelle scoperte e pubblicate in italia, nel 1880. The Thorn Rock, one of the first cup-marked rocks ever published in Italy (1880) has been damaged in April 2013.


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Cavour, deturpate le pitture rupestri neolitiche

Rocca di Cavour, pitture rupestri

Cavour, pitture rupestri

Newly and hardly damaged and defaced the Rocca di Cavour rock paintings. A hand-made white writing now covers the rock-shelter painted wall. Risale al febbraio del 2009 il gravissimo danneggiamento delle pitture rupestri della Rocca di Cavou. Una scritta a smalto bianca copre infatti quasi completamente le figure dipinte.

by Orme dell’Uomo – Footsteps of Man

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Valcamonica, vandalismo!

Foppe di Nadro 6

Rock 6 of Nadro Park heavily defaced, please sign the appeal for a better care in Valcamonica rock art protection. Sfregiate rocce a Nadro, uno dei principali parchi di arte rupestre della Valcamonica, un invito a firmare l’appello per una migliore protezione.

by Anna Maria Basché

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Big Problems this Summer for American Rockart!


This summer is a nightmare for the preservation of rockart in the American Southwest and West. Damages being done by a variety of mining and non-mainstream “science” groups may go unstopped without your interest and assistance immediately!

by Deb Huglin

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Quebrada de Santo Domingo update

Quebrada Santo Domingo

It seems incredible to have to mention or hear so many times “lack of funds” when it comes to saving priceless heritage. As Ulf Bertillson, President of ICOMOS Rock Art committee has said “Such events should be prevented and can be prevented”.

by Melissa MASSAT

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Urgent Rock Art Sos – FUMHAM

Serra da Capivara

This is an urgent appeal. Due to a lack of funding, the Fundação Museu do Homem Americano (FUMDHAM), that takes care of the Serra Capivara National Rock Art Park, is in danger of closing. Don’t let this happen, sign the petition.

by Mila Simoes de Abreu (IFRAO – Portugal)

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Quebrada de Santo Domingo: save geoglyphs

Spyral geoglyph

Please help save an exceptional and surprisingly unknown site in Northern Peru already designated out of bounds by the Peruvian Institute of Culture.

by Melissa MASSAT

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Preservation of Rock Art

Protect rock art

I have been studying rock art in the American West for over 10 years, concentrating my research on public sites, and how they have been “developed” for public visitation. I have drawn a number of conclusion about site selection, and procedures for preparing a site for public visitation.

by Ronald D. Sanders

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Manzanez mill rock art: a destroyed sanctuary

Manzanez submerged

The area, extremely rich in Palaeolithic-to-contemporary rock art, is now submerged, like the bordering Portuguese ones, by the huge artificial lake of the Guadiana dam. Photo gallery.

by Hipolito Collado Giraldo

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The risks of the new Italian act

Patrimonio SOS

A new act states by now that the Italian Cultural Heritage is no more inalienable: please help!
I rischi della nuova legge sulla “Patrimonio dello Stato spa”: aderisci alla richiesta di sospensione.

by Marco Collareta, Donata Levi

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