Towards a condition monitoring of rock art sites: The case of BNE 1 in Free State Province, South Africa
South African Archaeological Bulletin
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Eduarde Mondlane University, P.O.Box 257, Maputo, Mozambique; Rock Art Research Institute, GAES, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits, 2050, South Africa
Management of rock art sites entails continuous monitoring of changes in the condition of the site. Monitoring ensures that changes that occur at the site over time are recorded and controlled. Monitoring is a crucial step in any management process because it enables conservators and managers to determine causes and rates of deterioration, derive a prognosis as well as develop appropriate conservation strategies for sites. Monitoring is thus an indispensable tool for rockart managers in their attempts to minimize or mitigate site damage. This paper analyses how condition change was monitored at a particular rock art site (BNE 1) in Clocolan district, Free State Province, South Africa. Photographic analysis using a digital camera and computer software (Adobe Illustrator Creative Suite 2 and ImageJ), was used to monitor condition change. It is suggested that future monitoring of public rock art sites in Free State in particular and in South Africa in general, should be based on a negotiated partnership between interested parties.