The goal of ARADA and the Ringing Rocks Digital Laboratory is to digitise rock art collections on the African continent, make them available in an easily searchable database, in so doing conveying the importance of protecting and preserving the continent's rich archaeological heritage and facilitating ongoing research and interest in its fascinating past.
Collections include slides, historical documents, tracings, redrawings, renderings, prints, sketches and photographs.
Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) has a substantial collection of historical documents, photographs, redrawings and slides in addition to its large working collection of slides, tracings and redrawings. Over time, many of the older slides started to change colour and deteriorate in quality, prompting a programme to preserve the historical documents, photographs and slides in RARI's possession and reduce their handling by researchers and visitors.
Preservation was possible by digitising the collections and making them available on a database, thereby reducing physical handling while facilitating access to images and documents. The Ringing Rocks Foundation provided the necessary funding for this project and in January 2002 the Digital Laboratory was named in their honour. The laboratory had the daunting task of digitising all the existing archives at RARI as well as providing a database from which the archives could be accessed and viewed. Moreover, with the specification for the database being agreed upon, RARI hired a London-based company called System Simulation Ltd (SSL) to develop the much-needed software for the database. The Ringing Rocks Digital Laboratory started its digitisation process in August of 2002.
The scope of this project was funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.
With the end of the Ringing Rocks project in February of 2005, preparations were under way to start digitising the collections as part of the SARADA project. By August 2005, ARAL was being digitised.
To view the full African Rock Art Digital Archive click here. The African Rock Art Digital Archive is designed to enable a number of different searches, whether basic or advanced or public, or to do with the specific site, image, collection, document or object.
Frobenius, Leo Victor
Townley Johnson, Richard
Hoehn, Godfrey Charles
Malawi Department of Antiquities
Weltmuseum Wien (Weltmuseum Vienna)
Forrester, Bob & Masson, John
National Museum of Namibia
National Heritage Conservation Commission of Zambia
The Italian-Libyan Archaeological Mission in the Acacus and Messak
De Rosner, Conraad
Wendt, Wolfgang Erich
Reuning, Helmut & Marianne
Bassett, Stephen Townley
Van Riet Lowe, Clarence
→ South Africa Rock Art Archive
→ South Africa Rock Art Gallery
→ San Rock Art of the Drakensberg
→ RARI - Rock Art Research Institute
→ ARADA - African Rock Art Digital Archive
→ San Rock Art of the Drakensberg
→ Africa's World Heritage Sites
→ SARAP: Southern African Rock Art Project
→ A Map from the Memory of the World
→ Explore Cederberg rock art from your home
→ Early masterpieces: San hunter-gatherer shaded paintings of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg
→ A Painted Treasure
→ Origins Centre
→ Animals in Rock Art
→ Reflecting Back: 40 Years Since ‘A Survey of the Rock Art in the Natal Drakensberg’ Project (1978-1981)
→ San rock art exhibition at the National Museum & Research Center of Altamira
→ Interview with Dr Ben Smith
→ African Rock Art Archive
→ Bradshaw Foundation
→ Rock Art Network