KUNMING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Yunnan Province has launched a program to preserve a collection of 3,500-year-old rock paintings.
The rock paintings in Cangyuan Wa Autonomous County include 17 sites with more than 1,200 kinds of figures and patterns showing ancient scenes of the Wa people herding, hunting, dancing and worshipping.
"Drainage work is the primary task this time," said Yin Yunzhe, director of the culture, sports, broadcasting and television bureau of the county.
Preliminary work has been completed, including integrity analysis of pigment and moisture measurement of the rock paintings and surrounding environment.
"Advanced equipment will be used to monitor the temperature, humidity, and sunlight around the cultural heritage to avoid the collapse of rocks as well as water and wind erosion," Yin said. "Core parts of the paintings, which have been bothered by rain wash for thousands of years, are expected to be exempt from water damage after the drainage work."
Cangyuan rock art is among the oldest of its kind in China and is under national protection.
Since 1980s, Yunnan has conducted protection work on the paintings against erosion.
Due to climate and environmental changes in recent years, the relics suffer from increasing risk of rock collapses and erosions from water and wind, making it urgent to launch a new round of scientific protection.
One of the 17 painting sites is open to the public.