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Indian Subcontinent is one of the few places that preserve rock art of all the cultural phases, exemplified almost in all the known techniques and styles. The heaviest concentration lies in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Other core areas of rock art lies in the states of Uttrakand, Laddakh, Orissa, Vidarbha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Gujarat. Some sporadic finds have also been reported from Goa and Himachal Pradesh.
Since rock art is an important source that preserves the earliest signature of understanding human self-awareness, development of cognition, symbolism and neural evolution. Unfortunately, the state of preservation of most of the rock art in the country is unappreciable. This important source of global cultural heritage is at continuous risk of deterioration and destruction under the hands of natural agencies such as patination, sunlight, rainwater, physio-chemical disintegration of rock surface etc
Biological agents such as mud, wasp, swallows, bees, algae, bacteria, fungi, bats, pigeons and lizards are also responsible for the destruction of paintings at most of the sites in India. Human vandalism which involves deforestation, blasting and extensive indiscriminate quarrying of sandstone and granite in the
areas rich in rock art heritage is a common threat to most of the rock art sites. Intensive firing activities inside painted shelters and application of whitewash, vermillion and graffiti on the rock surface containing prehistoric paintings and engravings is commonly seen. Conversion of rock art rich areas into urban centers, industrial zones and into large reservoirs is another serious threat to some of the important rock art zones of the country.
Looking at the seriousness of the problem, most of the rock art sites need immediate measures for protection, conservation and management before it is too late. Management of rock is achievable by proper planning by responsible governmental agencies through community participation at village or district level.
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