The largest rock art in Southern China, Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art is finally inscribed on the UNESCO heritage list in June 2016.
Spanning from 5th Century BC to 3rd Century AD, the rock art was created by the Luoyue tribes, the ancestors of Zhuang people in the subtropical area of Guangxi, China, bordering Vietnam.
The core murals were painted on sheer mountain cliffs extending 70m wide and 40m high. Scientific studies reveals that the ingredients of the paint consist of iron ore, animal bone gel, and animal blood.
The murals consist mainly of squatting human figures with arms raised. Horses, dogs, bronze drum, knives, swords, bells, boats, road and sun were also depicted in the murals, with dogs being the main animal. The main figure of each group of paintings is always a giant human figure with a sword dangling around the waist and an animal sign on the head. Musical instruments, religious rituals and dancing scenes are also present, projecting a vivid picture of the society some 2000 years ago.
Huashan, “pay laiz” in local language, means “hills painted”. The murals were also recorded in the books of Song and Ming Dynasties. After research was carried out in the 1950s, Huashan Rock Art was listed as National Archaeological Site in 1988. The 1900 odd figures and other murals scattered along the river is now under the intensive care of the national government. New materials are being applied to prevent further erosion and environment protection started in local area to prevent acid rain.