Preservation - Threats


Rock art may appear to be one of the most durable surfaces on which to apply
art, yet drawings of charcoal and ochre are perhaps the most vulnerable in existence.

They are vulnerable because the materials used to create the art are perishable,
and few other art works are required to stand the punishment of the elements, wind
borne dust, animal rubbing, changes to the environment and, indeed, time.

Despite its seeming durability, limestone, the favoured rock surface on which the art
was produced, is notoriously unstable and easily eroded. Aotearoa's rock art heritage includes the earliest records created by this country’s first inhabitants, and they are
provided with very little protection against damage, either by natural forces or vandalism.

Copyright © 2009 Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock art Trust.