Museums and the conservation and interpretation of rock art
Mueller, Stephanie M.
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Rock art is a valuable resource whose long term preservation is threatened by conservation and interpretation challenges. This thesis investigates these issues facing conservation and interpretation of rock art in the Lower Pecos River region of Texas and examines whether establishing a regional museum could assist in addressing them. Seven issues that affect conservation of rock art are identified: access and landownership; in situ conservation; natural agents of deterioration; human agents of deterioration; recording techniques; museum preservation and the history of collecting; and exhibits, interpretation, and the nature of scholarly investigation. Interpretation methods that can affect public perceptions of the value of rock art are also identified. Research suggests a museum could serve as an archive of information on rock art, be a center for training researchers, managers, rangers, and guides, and thus assist in conservation and interpretation of rock art.