Biodeterioration of Prehistoric Rock Art and Issues in Site Preservation

  • Alice M. Tratebas


Lichens, algae and mosses growing on prehistoric rock art pose a major worldwide threat for its preservation and conservation. Most rock art is surficial, as paintings, or shallowly pecked or incised into the rock surface. Breakdown of the rock surface by lichens and other microflora can easily erase these images. Lichens and other damaging flora inhabit a wide variety of environments and have destroyed entire panels of rock art. Methods of lichen control developed for buildings and large historic monuments may be inappropriate for more delicate rock art. Rock art researchers must consider conservation, research and ethical issues for site preservation where biodeterioration is a factor.


Calcium Oxalate Rock Surface Ethyl Silicate Cosmogenic Nuclide Lichen Growth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice M. Tratebas
    • 1
  1. 1.Bureau of Land ManagementNewcastleUSA

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