3D-printed replica of national treasure rock to be displayed at museum

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : October 15, 2020, 11:05 | Updated : October 15, 2020, 11:05

[Courtesy of Ulsan Museum]

SEOUL -- The 3D-printed replica of a riverside rock face engraved with animal and human figures dating from 6,000 to 1,000 BC will be displayed at a museum. The rock is a national treasure for showing the most ancient evidence of whaling and is considered highly important for understanding prehistoric maritime culture in the northern Pacific area.

The replica, which is eight meters wide (26.2 feet) and four meters tall, will be displayed at uséum d’Histoire Naturelle located in La Rochelle, a western city of France, in December. It contained every detail of the original thanks to a special 3D-printing technology.

Bangudae Petroglyphs, which was designated as National Treasure No. 285, is located near Ulsan some 300 kilometers (186 miles) southeast of Seoul. Hundreds of drawings are engraved into riverside rocks that mainly consist of shale and hornfels, a fine-grained metamorphic rock. The engravings depict the body or face of humans and animal figures including whales and deer.

Ulsan Museum said in a statement on October 15 that the replica of Bangudae Petroglyphs will be put on display from October 17 until October 25. The replica consists of 15 pieces made of ABS, a common thermoplastic polymer. It took nine months to complete.

The site has scenes showing whaling activities in great detail. A dam has caused the rocks on which the petroglyphs are carved to be flooded for about eight months of every year, raising concerns of erosion and water damage of the rock-art motifs, which are considered to be masterpieces of prehistoric art and an invaluable source of prehistoric information.

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