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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Vol. 9 (2) 2011

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S. di Lernia & M. Gallinaro

Working in a UNESCO WH Site. Problems and Practices on the Rock Art of Tadrart Akakus (SW Libya, Central Sahara)

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 9 (2), 2011, pages 159-175, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10198

Abstract
Rock art contexts are a fragile aspect of the world's cultural heritage and have always attracted the attention of scientists, institutions, stakeholders, and visitors. UNESCO gives due recognition to this significance by including many art sites on its World Heritage List. The Tadrart Akakus in SW Libya was awarded this status in 1985. However, over the past decade, given a series of threats (tourism, infrastructure, oil exploitation), these Holocene art sites have become increasingly endangered. The central authorities and local stakeholders have failed to reach a unanimous consensus on the best practices to be adopted to tackle the situation; proposed solutions range from the total closure of the area to self-regulation. The research presented here aims to demonstrate that simple measures at individual sites (information panels, fences), integrated in a comprehensive inter- and multi-disciplinary study of rock art contexts (in particular, statistical and GIS analysis), may represent the best way to help politicians and stakeholders to dynamically manage a cultural heritage site.

Résumé
Les contextes d'art rupestre représentent un aspect fragile du patrimoine culturel mondial et ils ont toujours attiré l'attention des scientifiques, des institutions, des parties prenantes et des visiteurs. L'Unesco reconnaît cette importance, comme le démontre l'inclusion de nombre de ces sites dans la Liste du Patrimoine Mondial. Le Tadrart Akakus, dans le sudouest de la Libye, a obtenu ce statut en 1985 : dans les 10 dernières années, du fait d'une série de menaces (tourisme, infrastructures, exploitation du pétrole), ces lieux d'art de l'Holocène ont été en péril permanent. Les autorités centrales et les opérateurs locaux n'ont pas trouvé de consensus unanime sur les meilleurs pratiques à adopter pour affronter la situation : les solutions proposées vont de la fermeture totale de la zone à l'autorégulation. La recherche présentée ici se propose de démontrer comment des mesures simples sur des sites individuels (panneaux d'information, clôtures), alliées à une vaste étude inter- et pluridisciplinaire des contextes d'art rupestre (en particulier, analyses statistiques et GIS), peuvent représenter le meilleur moyen pour aider les politiques et les parties intéressées à gérer de façon dynamique un site du patrimoine culturel.




Keywords: GIS, Holocene, management plan, rock art, Sahara, sustainable tourism, UNESCO


© Copyright: Africa Magna Verlag 2011
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Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
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Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
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Robert Vernet, France
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