Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing
Published on Apr 20, 2014 11:59 AM
BINANGONAN, Philippines (AFP) - On a small rock wall a short drive from the Philippine capital, enigmatic carvings that are believed to date back 5,000 years are in danger of disappearing before their mysteries can be solved.
The 127 engravings of people, animals and geometric shapes are the Southeast Asian nation's oldest known artworks, but encroaching urbanisation, vandals and the ravages of nature are growing threats.
"Eventually they will disappear... preservation is out of the question," veteran anthropologist Jesus Peralta, who did an extensive and widely respected study of the carvings in the 1970s, told AFP.
The artworks have been declared a national treasure, regarded as the best proof that relatively sophisticated societies existed in the Philippines in the Stone Age.
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