African rock art
- Elizabeth Galvin, curator
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Africa’s rock art tradition is believed to date back over 50,000 years and is found throughout the continent.
Over the next five years, the Museum team will catalogue 25,000 rock art images from across Africa, originally from the world-renowned Trust for African Rock Art (TARA). TARA’s work over the last two decades has created one of the best and most extensive photographic surveys of African rock art and its environmental context. The images and data will be made accessible through the British Museum’s online collection catalogue, drawing on documentation from TARA staff and archaeological and anthropological research.
The Museum will also digitise the African pictorial collection of 19th and 20th century photographs alongside the TARA images to support the integration of this archive into a digital database. By combining a wide range of research from the Museum, TARA and colleagues in Africa, this project will capture and preserve knowledge about rock art and the visual anthropology of Africa for future generations.
A number of sites we have been cataloguing recently, located in the Libyan Desert, notably the Fezzan region, have included paintings of chariots in a variety of forms, dating to the Horse Period, from up to 3,000 years ago.
As the project progresses, more images will be made available on the collection database
4 February 2014
Elizabeth Galvin, curator, British Museum