VIRTUAL HERITAGE ARCHIVES: BUILDING A CENTRALIZED AUSTRALIAN ROCK ART ARCHIVE
Keywords: Virtual Heritage, 3D Archives, Cultural Heritage, Indigenous Heritage, Rock Art
Abstract. This paper examines use of multi-media in the curation, presentation and promotion of rock art. It discusses the construction of a centralised Australian rock art database and explores new technologies available for looking at rock art.
In 2011, Prof. Taçon Chair in Rock Art Research and Director of PERAHU (Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit) called for a national rock art database raising awareness of the importance of preserving rock art as part of Australia's valuable Indigenous heritage (Taçon, 2011). Australia has over 100,000 rock art sites, important heritage places for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and a testament to over 10,000 years of human activity, including interactions with other peoples and the environment. Many of these sites have not been documented or recorded and are threatened by natural and cultural agents. It is becoming increasingly important to develop conservation models for the protection and preservation of sites. Indigenous cultural heritage is difficult to manage on a local government level due to complex human / time / environment relationships and the importance of intangible cultural heritage (SoE SEWPAC, 2011). Currently no centralised database system exists in Australia to curate, present and promote rock art.