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Hiding in Caves: To discover such hidden art, you either have to search for a long time - or get good hints. Photo: David Coulson

In Höhlen versteckt: Um solche versteckten Kunstwerke zu entdecken, muss man entweder lange suchen – oder gute Hinweise bekommen. Foto: David Coulson

Hiding in Caves: To discover such hidden art, you either have to search for a long time - or get good hints. Photo: David Coulson

For more than 30 years, Briton David Coulson has been traveling through Africa to document rock art. A private leisure interest has turned into a gigantic project. By now he has made around 25, 000 photos of paintings, sculptures and engravings, creating digital copies. Because the originals are threatened in many places by mining and oil production.

David Coulson has been touring 20 African countries while working. Sometimes he gets clues from the public that there are pictures in certain places, sometimes researchers tell him that they happened to discover them years ago. And every now and then Coulson just follows his intuition.

Use for rock art

In order to preserve at least some of the millennium-old images, Coulson in 1996, the club TARA, short for "Trust for African Rock Art". The organization has set out to find rock art in Africa, if possible to conserve, to document and to sensitize the population. With personalities such as Kofi Annan or Nelson Mandela, TARA has been able to gain important supporters since its founding and has gained international recognition.

bild der wissenschaft reports extensively on the photographer and his project in his May issue and shows some of the most impressive images. A series of other images can be found here as a picture gallery compiled.

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