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24 October 2004
Project to record all rock art sites in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council (England) is leading an exciting new project to make a comprehensive record of all rock art sites in Northumberland and County Durham. This record will form the foundation of a national rock art database that English Heritage intends to develop for the whole country. The aim is to map what this ancient art is and where it is found, and then to explore ways in which to make it can be accessible to people without damaging it. Local volunteers are essential to the success of the project and will be involved in a number of different ways, including fieldwork and developing the rock art database.
     Tertia Barnett, Northumberland County Council's rock art project officer, said: "Volunteers have responded enthusiastically to the project and around 60 people in total attended recent meetings in Durham and Morpeth. "We need all the help we can get on this exciting and important project. This is very different from what we normally think of as art and these carvings may have played a very significant role in prehistoric society."
     Last weekend more than 30 volunteers gathered in County Hall and on sites at Lordenshaws and Longframlington where they received training in different survey techniques from English Heritage's team of field surveyors. They also met local archaeologists and rock art specialists including Aron Mazel, currently working on the Newcastle University rock art project, Clive Waddington, who has recently excavated a site in north Northumberland and Paul Frodsham and Rob Young from the Northumberland National Park.
     Tertia added: "This training programme will continue over the next few months. Volunteers will be taught how to survey and record rock art sites comprehensively using a range of techniques, including some, which are being developed especially for this project. "At the end of the training, the volunteers will start to record all known rock art sites in Northumberland and Durham. This information will be entered into a database which is being specially designed for this project and which will eventually be accessible to everyone over the internet."

Source: Berwick Today (21 October 2004)

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