From Sep 25-30, 2016, invited by Wang Wei, the curator of Guangxi Museum of Nationalities, the five persons containing Zhao Jianxin, the lifetime professor and radioactive isotope lab director of the University of Queensland, the famous Paleolithic Age dating expert and professor Shen Guanjun of Nanjing Normal University and Liu Dunyi, Dean of “Beijing Ion Probe Center” of National Large-scale Apparatus Center and Vice Chairman of former International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) went to do rock survey in Zuojiang in places like Ningming, Longzhou, Jiangzhou and Fusui and collected proper samples for U-series dating work.
The dating of rock art contains direct and indirect dating. Direct dating is to directly measure the date of rock art, including its carved traces, cracks, hues and covered sediments, with the most reliable scientific means. Indirect dating mainly adopts comprehensive comparison methods containing documentary records, the conservation state of rock art, color of carved traces and stone scale, technique of making rock art, style of rock art, theme of rock art, repeated and overlapping phenomenon, method of comparative study, inscribed words on the rock art and identification of animal categories.
U-series dating has been the general and effective way in rock art dating. Owning rich experience in dating, the above mentioned experts have been the top ones in direct dating of rock art abroad and at home.
Thanks to the great coordination and support of local cultural relics institutes, this survey had collected more than 20 samples from rock art sites. The dating of these samples would provide direct reference for the dating of Zuojiang Huashan rock art, laying solid foundation for its further study.
(Text/Photo: Xiao Bo)