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IFRAO Report No. 23 

 

Proceedings of the 1995 International Rock Art Congress, Turin

 

The Centro Studi e Museo d’Arte Preistorica in Pinerolo, Italy, is proud to announce the publication of the NEWS95 Proceedings. The International Rock Art and Cognitive Archaeology Congress NEWS95, held under the aegis of IFRAO (the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations), and organised by CeSMAP, took place for the first time in Europe in Turin, at the prestigious Valentino Royal Castle, and Pinerolo from 30 August to 6 September 1995.

It has been one of the most important congresses at an international level, with more than 500 renowned scholars in archaeology and rock art from all over the world. We now present the proceedings of this event to the international scientific community. They are not simply a record of the scientific event; they have also benefited from revisions made by the authors since the Congress, and they are the result of the dedicated work of the chairpersons of different Symposia, with a combination of scientific rigour and collaboration.

They are presented in a mixed format, with a volume with the abstracts of more than 170 papers debated during the 16 Symposia of the Congress (136 pages) and a CD-ROM containing all the reports presented with thousands of illustrations (it corresponds to more than 15 volumes of 2000 text pages). The current trend for electronic scientific publishing was taken in consideration, permitting a fast, inexpensive and simple exchange of information and images through data transmission between institutions and researchers. The aim of these proceedings is to take part in the progress brought about by the computer revolution, and the diffusion of similar initiatives so as to consolidate relations of exchange between researchers, scholars and the public.

The official price of the NEWS95 Proceedings (abstracts volume and CD-ROM) is US$89.00 (overseas postage costs included), payable by bank transfer or by cheque; for booking or further information please contact:

CeSMAP, Study Centre and Prehistoric Art Museum, Viale Giolitti 1, 10064 Pinerolo, Italy, Tel. No. +39 0121794382, Fax No. +39 012175547,

e-mail: CeSMAP@cesmap.it

Prof. Dr Dario Seglie, Director of Museum of Prehistoric Art; Dr Piero Ricchiardi, President, CeSMAP

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NEWS95 PROCEEDINGS

 

World Rock Art Congress, Valentino Royal Castle,

Turin and Pinerolo, Italy,

31 August - 6 September 1995

Comprising one volume of abstracts, monochrome and colour; and one CD-ROM with 172 scientific papers of 2000 paper pages, 1200 illustrations, colour pictures, maps, bibliographies, photo gallery, consisting of:

 

SYMPOSIUM 1A: NEW APPROACHES

R. G. Bednarik, F. d’Errico

SYMPOSIUM 2A: SEMIOTICS, SIGNS AND SYMBOLS

P. Bouissac, M. Khan

SYMPOSIUM 3A: ROCK ART AND MUSICARCHAEOLOGY

E. Hickmann

SYMPOSIUM 4B: ROCK ART AND MASS-MEDIA

G. Boscolo

SYMPOSIUM 5B: MUSEOLOGY AND MUSEOGRAPHY

S. Santiano, M. Tonon, Y. Mathpal

SYMPOSIUM 7C: ETHICS

F. Soleilhavoup, D. Arsenault

SYMPOSIUM 8C: ROCK ART CONSERVATION AND SITE MANAGEMENT

A. Watchman, L. Godwin

SYMPOSIUM 9C: ROCK ART AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS

M. Rossi, F. Fedele, V. O. Jorge

SYMPOSIUM 10C: RECORDING, DATING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE

B. K. Swartz, Jr., M. Simőes de Abreu

SYMPOSIUM 11D: ROCK ART OF THE CIRCUMPOLAR COUNTRIES

K. Sognnes, A. Faradjev

SYMPOSIUM 12D: ROCK ART AND THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

A. Beltrán, J. Clottes

SYMPOSIUM 13D: ROCK ART AND THE SAHARA

A. Muzzolini, J. L. Le Quellec

SYMPOSIUM 14D: NEWS OF THE WORLD

P. Bahn, A. Fossati

SYMPOSIUM 15-16D: ROCK ART, ETHNOGRAPHY AND CHRISTIAN MANIFESTATION

E. Comba, A. Guaraldo, A. Fernandez Distel

 

PRICE: US$89.00; special price for members of IFRAO-affiliated rock art organisations US$55.00.

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IRAC ‘99:

A few words from the organiser

Jack Steinbring

 

The Ripon Congress was not a flashy spectacle. It was just everything ever wanted in a high grade, international rock art event. The emphasis was immediately apparent. The Congress was truly international. No less than 37 nations were represented! This eclipsed all previous events of its kind, and will be hard to match for years to come. It took a profound effort by both MAGF and ARARA to aid the many travellers from distant lands. While ARARA focused mainly on established scholars, especially in Siberian rock art, MAGF worked to aid and encourage ‘Third World’ participants, including many from Hispanic nations, especially Central and South America. Included in these nations were Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, San Salvador, Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico. Europe also was well represented with delegates from England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Macedonia and Finland. Karen Niskanen of Finland became the first IRAC delegate from that country, and presented her work in Finnish rock paintings. They are virtually indistinguishable from many of those in the Canadian Shield.

There were also representatives from Australia, India, Japan, South Africa, Morocco, and many other countries. Besides this truly wide spectrum of the globe, over thirty states of the United States showed up. This may also be an unprecedented North American representation, owing in part to the outstanding participation of the Eastern States Rock Art Research Association. Dr Carol Diaz-Granados, president of that group, has already expressed her views on the Congress in the ESRARA Newsletter.

Dr Larry Loendorf, President of the American Rock Art Research Association, has also reported on the Congress, correctly calling attention to its strengths and some weaknesses. Among the weaknesses was a profoundly inappropriate and poorly presented ‘banquet speech’ by Dr Paul Bahn. Few probably know this better than Bahn himself, who has apologised. A highlight of the banquet was a distinguished service award by ESRARA to Dr James Swauger for his lifetime of recording and research in eastern U.S. rock art.

The main body of the Congress was a full week of formal presentations, running from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This amounted to some 23 sessions, essentially covering every phase of rock art research. The sessions were chaired by leading figures in the specialties. ARARA is presently assembling at least 50 of the over 200 papers for publication in a professionally managed volume on the Congress. Not only will this reflect the breadth of the event, but it will also constitute a timely and highly authoritative reference work on rock art in general. ARARA is to be congratulated for this ambitious effort!

The Congress was concluded with many excellent field trips and the formal meeting of IFRAO. The latter event went very smoothly, with quite a number of unanimously supported changes, all basically aimed at more thoroughly democratising the institution and increasing its efficiency.

There were many special events, the main one perhaps being four evening presentations, by prominent researchers, for the general public. These included Dr Jean Clottes’ most recent (two weeks before the Congress!) discoveries, and the latest details on Dr Robert Salzer’s investigations at Wisconsin’s own famous rock art site — the Gottschall Rock Shelter. Further presentations by Dr David Whitley on rock art theory, and Dr Carol Diaz-Granados on the nature of archaeoastronomy in rock art, rounded out the week. These were presented to a full house each evening, accounting for well over 1000 attendants, many from Ripon and nearby communities.

An international stamp exhibition (depicting stamps with rock art on them) formed the central attraction in the foyer of Rodman Center where most of the academic sessions took place. It was organised and set up by Dr William Breen Murray from the University of Monterrey in Mexico. Matthias Strecker from Bolivia, one of the original organisers of the exhibition, was unable to attend but forwarded an excellent contribution of stamps depicting rock art from his country. This was undoubtedly the largest international exhibition of these specialised stamps, and also the first for IRAC. The Fond du Lac Stamp Club aided the exhibition greatly by arranging the provision of specialised, secure frames for the event. In association with the exhibition, the U.S. Postal Service provided a special stamp cancellation during one day at the Congress. The cancellation was applied to delegate mailings by the Ripon Post Office, and was very well attended.

An exciting and educationally valuable art event was initiated at the commencement of the Congress in the form of an aboriginal-inspired sculpture event. Jody Harrell of MAGF and Janet Lever of ARARA chaired and supervised students in preparing the sculptures, which were exhibited at the entrance to Storzer Gymnasium where the plenary sessions were held in the afternoons. This event has received wide acclaim.

An extensive array of posters was mounted on the walls of Rodman Center, among them the beautiful IRAC ‘99 poster designed by Charles Bailey, Jr. of Minnesota. Other big helpers from Minnesota were Deborah Morse-Kahn, Charles Bailey, Sr. and Kevin Callahan.

One other special event of note was an atl-atl demonstration arranged by Len Riemersma and sponsored by the National Atl-Atl Association. It attracted over 200 participants, and many congratulatory statements have been received. At the same time, a flint knapping demonstration was conducted nearby. This also drew much attention.

It would be impossible to identify all those who made IRAC ‘99 such a success. The international flavour of the event owes largely to the efforts of MAGF and ARARA in aiding those who could not possibly have attended without help. Exceptionally generous contributions by MAGF members were made ‘just in the nick of time’, and the profound gratitude of travellers is directed straight to them. More great help came from voluntary translators, led by Lucy Dowling for Hispanics, as well as Dr William Breen Murray (Mexico) and Mario Consens (Uruguay). Administratively, the inordinate efforts by Donna Gillette, ARARA, and her committee were indispensable. John Campbell stepped in at a crucial moment and took on a huge mailing. Franklin Farvour was my right hand associate in actually setting up the entire program. It took some three months, and Frank worked with me everyday, as a volunteer. Shining lights in media help were (as always) Dan McCarthy and Elaine Moore. Lisa Stone of the Ripon College Conference staff also played vital roles, especially in managing the room arrangements of hundreds of delegates. Transportation required an immense undertaking.

Delegates unfamiliar with the continental interior at times thought Chicago was only 20 miles from Ripon! Problems like this required a quick response by many volunteer drivers who collectively drove thousands of miles to assure that every delegate reached his or her destination. These many generous people also handled odd travelling times, and without them the situation would have been a shambles.

In the numerous congratulatory messages from the U.S.A. and abroad, one thing stands out beyond all others, and this was the beautiful environment of Ripon College, along with the excellent and convenient services. Along with this, all point to the friendly, engaging people of an essentially rural setting. People made this event, and the grassroots nature of MAGF achieved acclaim from around the world!


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