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22 March 2012
Race to record ancient rock art in Texas

In the limestone caves of Texas (USA), on the shores of the Rio Grande, a race is on to save ancient cave paintings from further environmental damage. The rock art in question was painted in approximately 2,000 BCE by native Americans linked to the Huichol Indians of Western Mexico. The artwork is suffering from insect damage & vandalism, together with the effects of artificially high humidity caused by the damming of the river.
     A the fore front of the race is Doctor Carolyn Boyd of the Texas State University, who has been carrying out research into the paintings as well as raising awareness of issues and educating new young Americans into the mysteries of their heritage. One of the items being taught is how the paint for the artwork was made, using the fat from deer marrow (a sacrifice from the diet of the painters) and trying to gain an understanding of how such early chemistry has lasted for thousands of years.
     Doctor Boyd is quoted as saying "I feel like I'm in a race against time. If someone walked up to you and handed you the oldest known book in the Western Hemisphere, what would you do? Most people would spare no effort to preserve and protect it".

Edited from San Antonio Express-News (4 March 2012)

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