Third AURA Congress

Alice Springs 2000, Australia

10 to 14 July

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The Australian Rock Art Research Association - AURA

Millenium: a fresh start

The Third AURA Congress will be held in Alice Springs, central Australia, from Monday, 10 July to Friday, 14 July 2000. It will be preceded and followed by a major program of field trips covering much of the continent of Australia. The Congress is to include the Annual IFRAO Meeting, the Annual General Meeting of AURA and other events. The academic sessions are to include the following symposia.

Call for papers

Papers are invited now for the following symposia of the Third AURA Congress. Paper titles and abstracts can be submitted either to one of the Symposium Chairs listed below or to the Editor of Rock Art Research. Papers accepted for presentation will be published.

 

 

ROCK ART AND COLONIALISM: SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA AND BEYOND

Chaired by Sven Ouzman and Claire Smith

 

This session will discuss some of the theoretical and methodological issues linking rock art and colonialism. The primary geographic foci of the session will be South Africa and Australia, though papers dealing with this theme in other geographic regions will be considered.

South Africa and Australia are both countries with rich, varied rock art traditions. Though these traditions differ in terms of their visual appearance and often their subject matter, both were, at various stages, part of a resistance and protest against the colonisation of their countries by non-hunter-gatherers. In fact, South Africa and Australia share some remarkable parallels in the process, negotiation and outcome of their respective colonial experiences. These experiences found expression in many forms - protests, poems, songs and also in the form of rock art.

We do not contend that the rock art imagery concerned with colonialism was a passive reflection of events, rather that those very images were powerful things in themselves. Rock art is an active medium that can serve as a powerful critique. For example, in southern African rock art white colonists are often depicted in the aggressive 'hands-on-hips' posture and are often associated with lions - powerful anti-social forces in hunter-gatherer belief.

Rock art, because it pre-existed colonialism and was acceptably situated within the world of 'traditional' hunter-gatherer activity, enjoyed a certain moral and symbolic 'weight' or legitimation. Further, because hunter-gatherer rock art in both Australia and South Africa niost often was made by respected individuals - individuals who were often symbolically literate and politically astute - it was capable of commenting on a given colonial experience, suggesting a way of acting, or reacting to this experience and of forming part of this experience. The act of painting or engraving itself could have a cathartic, calming effect though it could just as easily stir people to violent, decisive action. In some cases, as with sorcery paintings whose aim was to Vill or seriously injure particular individuals, the act of painting itself was a violent, decisive action.

At other times, the advent of colonialism created rock art traditions, such as among the Northern Sotho black farming communities of South Africa. Here a whole new rock art tradition was established with the function of ridiculing the white colonists. For example, the white women's mid-calf length dresses, immodest in comparison with Sotho women's belowthe-ankle length dresses - were painted as mini skirts so short that they would shame even modern porn stars.

The Australian situation demonstrates that colonialism is not an inevitable death-knell to the contemporary practice of indigenous rock arts. Apart from occasional examples of contemporary rock painting, in some regions rock art traditions have been transferred to other media, such as with the painting of Wandjina images on board in the Kimberley region of Australia, or the painting of rock art images on canvas and paper in various parts of Arnhem Land in northern Australia. In South Africa, too, the traditional forms and themes of rock art are sometimes depicted in contemporary Bushman art, through using acrylic paint on board and through print-making and painting on cloth.

Colonialism assumes many guises and no doubt even happened thousands of years ago within hunter-gatherer landscapes in which people moved around, sometimes displacing others. These instances of hunter-gatherer colonialism are often difficult to detect and represent a future avenue of research best assisted by a study of rock art. Rock art is currently the most informed category of material culture with which to investigate these issues. Our hope is that the papers in this session will demonstrate the ability of rock art studies to give us a deeper, more sensitised understanding of the colonial experiences of Indigenous peoples. 

Abstracts (100-150 words) and paper titles are invited now and should be submitted to one of the symposium chairpersons:

Sven Otizman : Rock Art Department - National Museum - P.O. Box 266 - Bloernfontein 9300 - South Africa

E-mail: rockart@nasmus.co.za

Dr Claire Smith: Department of Archaeology - Flinders University of South Australia - P.O. Box 2100 - Adelaide, S.A. 5001 - Australia

E-mail: claire.smith@flinders.edu.au

 

CONSTRUCTED LANDSCAPES: ROCK ART, PLACE AND IDENTITY

Chaired by Bruno David and Meredith Wilson

Landscapes are not around us; they are with us. Ours is a world where place is defined - 'wilderness', 'grazing land', 'residential land' - by the values and meanings we ascribe to our surroundings. It is not just an external world that we map in geographical space. It is, rather, our relationships and familiarity with, and our perceptions of, places that are charted. In the process we attribute meaning to, we define, we construct and transform abstract space to the theatre of our lives. History is in this way positioned to address not so much the nature and dynamics of outside realities, but of people's relationships with their surroundings, of their social and physical environments as perceived and culturally constructed. History, like geography, is about tracing the landscapes of the mind.

What is the role of rock art in marking, negotiating and reproducing this constructed world? Fixed on the ground, how does rock art operate in the (re)construction of landscapes, not as outside realities but as territory - owned, contextualised and continuously renegotiated space? This session aims to explore various dimensions of rock art as actively positioned in ontological space and in the construction of identities. Please send paper titles and abstracts (of 100-150 words) to one of the symposium chairpersons:

Dr Bruno David: Department Geography and Environmental Science - Monash University - Clayton, Vic. 3168 - Australia - Tel. home: (613) 9754 3450; Tel. work: (613) 9905 2938 Fax: (613) 9905 2948

E-mail: Bruno.David@arts.monash.edu.au

Meredith Wilson: Division of Archaeology and Natural History - Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies - Australian National University - Canberra, A.C.T. 0200 - Australia

 

ROCK ART, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PLANS: REGIONAL PROJECTS

Chaired by Dario Seglie, Robert Bednarik and Kalyan Chacravatry

Humanity is currently facing a formidable challenge: that of guaranteeing all the inhabitants of the world a better quality of life while, at the same time, ensuring the quality and the future of the environment of Earth for the next generations. This challenge involves all the countries of the world, both the industrialised nations and the developing ones: all the people, all the citizens, need to adopt a strong, new ethical and moral state of mind. Human culture at the threshold of the third millennium must be called into question, because extraordinary cultural change is required, comparable to that which accompanied the 'Neolithic Revolution', and the Industrial Revolution of the 17th century.

The new imperative is 'sustainable development'; this calls for a new conjugation between environment and development, so that our current needs can be satisfied without preventing the next generations from having an improved quality of life. In the uncertain march toward the new culture, intellectuals, scholars and scientists must play the role of pioneers and vanguards.

Rock art comprises the most ancient signs of human spirituality, and those which are most widespread in every continent, but it is also one of the most fragile resources of cultural property; it must be conserved and studied. Many important rock art areas are located in developing countries. The economic development and the exploitation of the environmental resources of a territory must take its cultural heritage into consideration, and not pose a threat to conservation. Political and economic programs for the regional development of rural and urban areas must take rock art and archaeological sites into consideration, since these constitute a factor in the wealth and sustainable development of the local communities as well as of the country as a whole. The scientific, administrative and political authorities of every country and every region must commit themselves to the creation and planning of projects in sustainable development centred on 'Rock art and the environment'. Some points can be considered indispensable in these regional projects:

    Consultation with, and involvement of, rock art's international authorities, and particularly IFRAO, the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations.

    Involvement of national and regional rock art organisations. Drafting of regional programs of research, study, scientific documentation, preservation and conservation of rock art.

    Programs for site development, cultural diffusion and regional economic-tourism development.

    Training programs for school and university teachers, and for those in cultural or tourism posts who could be employed as guardians or guides for the sites, parks, museums and tourist resorts.

Regional projects in sustainable development should enable the local communities to launch processes of social and economical development through respect for the environment, in order to guarantee the future.

All rock art experts, scholars and specialists in development are invited to contribute to this symposium which represents a new opportunity for the 3rd millennium: we want to preserve not only our natural environment, but also our rock art for the human race, for our children and our children's children. Paper titles and abstracts (100-150 words) to be sent to:

Professor Dario Seglie: Museum of Prehistoric Art - Viale Giolitti 1 - 10064 PINEROLO - Italy - Tel. +39 - 0121794382; Fax +39 - 012175547

E-mail: CeSMAP@cesmap.it

 

ROCK ART EDUCATION AND ETHICS

Chaired by Dario Seglie, Giriraj Kumar and Mike Morwood.

Education of the public on rock art is 'ethics' and 'preventive conservation' in action; it may prevent vandalism and other destructive actions at sites. Furthermore, it should be seen as one of the principal objects of the researcher to communicate the results of investigations in such a form that the general public benefits from this experience and accepts rock as an important part of the cultural heritage. Rock art education plays a prominent role in activities of rock art associations, universities, institutes, parks, centres, worldwide, and has been treated in sessions held at the international Rock Art Congresses at Turin/Italy (1995), Swakopmund/Namibia (1996), Cochabamba/Bolivia (1997), Vila Real/ Portugal (1998) and Ripon/U.S.A. (1999). The new symposium, to be held at AURA 2000 at Alice Springs, Australia, will be the opportunity to present the considerable experience acquired all over the world in a final forum which also encompasses all ideas, providing guidelines for efficient educational work on rock art in the 21st century. Papers presented in this symposium should:

    focus on long-term work instead of isolated activities, taking into account publications for the general public, permanent exhibitions, lectures, hands-on activities with children etc.; detail collaboration with teachers' training centres, with museums and with administrators of rock art sites which are open for visits by the public;

    consider group-specific approaches to rock art, such as different educational programs for specific age groups;

    if possible, exemplify work with indigenous groups making them conscious of rock art as their cultural heritage;

     evaluate the results of educational programs by providing some parameters such as comparison with areas where no rock art education has taken place, investigation of visitor behaviour at sites before and after educational programs were initiated, etc.

Possible contributors are investigators, researchers, scholars, teachers, journalists, editors etc. who have undertaken educational projects on rock art anywhere in the world. Paper titles and abstracts (100-150 words) to be sent to Professor Dario Seglie (see previous item).

 

 

ROCK ART MANAGEMENT AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR SITE VISITORS Chaired by Natalie Franklin and Elena Miklashevich

Sound management of rock art sites which are open to public visitation includes the application of both specific technical methods for conservation and of various techniques for visitor control. It has become clear in recent years that the latter in particular, combined with appropriate public education about rock art, can reduce the chances of vandalism and inadvertent damage to rock art sites, lessen the impact of visitation upon the surrounding environment, and enhance visitor appreciation of the art. Increasingly research is showing that visitors are less likely to cause damage to rock art sites if they are aware of their value. Education has a key role to play in the recognition of site value. If education programs about rock art sites are effectively achieved, cultural heritage in general will become a valued dimension of everyday life and will be treated with the respect and care necessary to ensure its preservation for future generations. Appropriate and effective education about rock art is therefore essential for its protection against damage caused by visitors.

This symposium will consider the management of publicly visited rock art sites within the context of education programs which are aimed at fostering site protection. The issues which might be discussed in the symposium include, but need not be limited to:

    the involvement of indigenous people in education programs about rock art sites and regions; the aspects visitors look for in guided tours and site information;

    research into public perceptions of rock art and how these might be 'managed';

    research on the evaluation of educative strategies at rock art sites (e.g. visitor surveys);

    how to balance indigenous and scientific perspectives of rock art for the public; the design of educative strategies in order to meet the needs of a range of audiences;

    and the ways in which appropriate education programs have enhanced visitor appreciation of rock art and assisted in the protection of sites.

Papers on case studies which detail innovative strategies for the education of publicly visited rock art sites are particularly welcome. Papers should include discussion of the methods which have worked, and those which have not, at particular sites or regions.

Paper titles and abstracts (up to 150 words) are invited and should be forwarded to either of these:

Dr Natalie Franklin: Cultural Heritage Branch - Environmental Planning Division - Environmental Protection - Agency - P.O. Box 155 - Brisbane Albert St, Qld 4002 - Australia - Tel.: 61 (07) 3227 7372 Fax: 61 (07) 3227 7803

E-mail: Natalie.Franklin@env.qld.gov.au

Elena Miklashevich : Department of History and Theory of Culture - Kemerovo State University - Krasnaya Street 6 - KEMEROVO 650043 Russia

E-mail: elenam@relay. kuzbass.net

 

ROCK ART AND RECONCILIATION

Chaired by Noelene Cole and John Campbell; indigenous co-ordinators to be announced.

This symposium aims to promote the recognition and protection of indigenous values and to aspire to die goals of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in demonstrating a commitment to seek 'consensus, co-operation, mediation and dialogue' (see Dodson 1994). In response to Recommendation 10 of the Cairns Declaration document (1992), the symposium aims to provide an appropriate format in which the conference can benefit from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation. Therefore a variety of presentation approaches is envisaged with the possibility of a forum to encourage maximum participation.

In response to this preliminary announcement we invite proposals or suggestions for symposium structure, content or presentations relating to the recognition and protection of indigenous values in rock art research.

Dr Noelene Cole: 9 Fifth Ave - St Lucia, Qld 4067 - Australia

E-mail : Cole@iaccess.com.au

Dr John Campbell : School of Anthropology and Archaeology - James Cook University - Smithfield, Cairns 4870 - Australia

E-mail : John. Campbell@jcu.edu.au

 

AESTHETICS OF ROCK ART

Thomas Heyd and John Clegg

Very significant progress has been made in recent years in the cultural and scientific understanding of rock art with regard to:

    1. Appreciation of the civilisations and cultures of its makers and users; and

    2. Formal archaeology's understanding of materials, dating techniques, and so on.

In the meantime almost nothing has been said about rock art from the point of view of aesthetics. Given the outstanding cultural importance of rock art, and as a reminder of the presence of autochthonous peoples in the land, it is imperative that serious thought be given to the sort of appreciation to which rock art lends itself.

This symposium will be an opportunity for theoretically well-founded and empirically supported, interdisciplinary exploration of the aesthetic values represented in rock art. In so far as it will be a follow-up on the Aesthetics and rock art symposium held at IRAC 1998 in Vila Real, we expect to be building on the papers presented there. (For an example of the approach proposed see 'Rock art aesthetics: trace on rock, mark of spirit, window on land', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, forthcoming).

Papers addressing the aesthetics of rock art are welcome. In particular we seek papers that seek to:

    • clarify the source of the aesthetic appeal of rock art;

    • the problem of cross-cultural and cross-temporal aesthetic appreciation;

    • the history of rock art aesthetics;

    * the achievements of those who made and those who used rock art.

Please provide the title of your paper and a 100 - 150 word abstract to one of the co-ordinators as soon as possible.

Professor Thomas Heyd : Department of Philosophy - University of Victoria, B.C. - Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 3P4 - Canada - Fax: 250-7217511

E-mail: theyd@uvvm.uvic.ca

John Clegg : Archaeology, A14 - University of Sydney, NSW 2006 - Australia

E-mail: jclegg@acl.archaeology.usyd.edu.au

 

 

ROCK ART AND INDIGENOUS ASTRONOMIES

Chaired by Philip Clarke and Hugh Cairns

The recent publication Night skies of Aboriginal Australia by D. Johnson gathered together a large number of indigenous stories, ancestral realities, seasonal relationships and ceremonial traditions from Australian sources. Particular rock art sites and figures are also given night sky relation by certain custodians in central and northern Australia. This symposium invites researchers working with indigenous communities worldwide and in Australia, together with custodians of sky-related art sites, astronomers, philosophers of science, historians, archaeo-astronomers and students of human conceptual, intellectual and spiritual realities to contribute:

   1. To increase the data known from indigenous worlds relating to the night sky.

    2. To understand more fully these astronomies in their complexities.

    3. To allow indigenous spiritual sensibilities for the whole cosmos to be heard.

    4. To develop recognition of astronomical relationships at rock art sites.

Expressions of interest and abstracts (to 150 words) to:

Dr P. A. Clarke : Division of Anthropology - South Australian Museum - North Terrace - Adelaide, S.A. 5000 - Australia

 

 

CENTRAL AND NORTHERN AUSTRALIAN ROCK MARKINGS: ARCHAEOLOGICAL, ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVES

Chaired by Graeme Ward (Co-chair to be announced)

Australia is one of the few places where rock-markings are still of living cultural significance to contemporary Indigenous peoples. Indigenous perspectives and knowledge about rockmarkings have influenced and guided research in many areas of Australia, much of which has seen significant collaborations between archaeologists and anthropologists and Indigenous custodians.

Please send titles of relevant papers, together with an abstract of up to 150 words, to:

Dr Graeme Ward : Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies - GPO Box 553 - Canberra, A.C.T. 2601 - Australia

E-mail: gkw@aiatsis.gov.au

 

 

INDIGENOUS PERCEPTIONS BY THE USERS AND ALAKERS OF ROCK ART

Chaired by Julie Drew and Frans Prins

This session invites papers and participation from indigenous people who are, or have worked with, researchers at rock art sites. Recent research with a dual input from custodians and archaeological or anthropological researchers has revealed that the symbolic imagery of animal figures and geometric or abstract motifs function as concepts beyond a visual record of events. The symposium will centre on the spirituality and belief connections with the imagery on the rock surface. Papers will reflect the belief expressions of the traditional culture of the makers of the images or the perceptions that emanate out of the images and were adapted by other users for their belief systems. It is recognised that specific images painted or engraved on stone reach into ancestral connections and spiritual presence that relate to the cosmos of a community.

Participation is anticipated from Aboriginal Australia and southern Africans, as well as American Indians and South American peoples, northern Africans, European and Asian nations.

Please send your paper title and abstract proposal (100-150 words) to:

Julie Drew: School of Archaeology - University of Sydney - N. S. W. 2006 - Australia - Fax: (61) 29 332 1804

E-mail: julied@magna.com.au

Frans Prins : Department of Anthropology - Natal Museum - P.O. Box 9070 - Pietermaritzburg, Natal 3200 - South Africa

E-mail: fprins@nmsa.org.za

 

 

Rationales reprinted from RAR 15(2):

 

ROCK ART AND ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

Chaired by Paul Faulstich, Paul TaQon and David Bennett

 

This symposium will provide a forum through which we can investigate the ecological priorities and concepts of various peoples as illuminated through rock art. It will attempt to understand human perceptions of nature through exploration of graphic, expressive culture. Ecological knowledge includes those aspects of culture that relate to environmental concerns directly (e.g. resource exploitation) and indirectly (e.g. totemic proscriptions). Thus, ecological knowledge affects subsistence, adaptation, cosmology and aesthetics, and these things in turn affect the knowledge base. By investigating the ethno-ecology of rock art, we can gain greater understanding of critical interactions between humans and the natural world.

In this symposium we will study beliefs about the relationship between humans and the natural environment as expressed through rock art, and we will explore where these cultural systems of knowing intersect and diverge. This symposium will seek insight into how aspects of cultural ecology are expressed through the symbolic medium of rock art, and will investigate the intersection between the external world and cultural con~ structions; of that world. It will, essentially, strive to understand the mechanisms through which the world makes cultural sense.

Traditional ecological knowledge is being lost rapidly as elders die and their cultures undergo tremendous change. Recording, understanding and appreciating this knowledge (ethno-ecology) is thus an urgent matter. To interpret traditional ecological knowledge with care and in the interest of its possessors is one goal of this symposium. It seeks, through its inquiry into rock art, to illuminate diverse cultural interactions with Nature, thereby giving us greater appreciation of the depth and scope of knowledge systems as they relate to the natural environment. Vignettes of indigenous understandings of the natural world are precious in their own right, but they also provide potential foundations for a new environmental ethic that we so urgently need.

Contrary to popular notions, indigenous peoples traditionally and significantly manipulate natural resources. Many indigenous peoples engage in a practice of participation and reciprocity with the land. Their ethics, generally, are based on cosmologies of shared identity between humans and landscape, and facilitate the maintenance of diverse resource bases. Rock art often documents and helps articulate a moral ecology, one predicated on the shared responsibility between people and the land. In most indigenous cosmologies, the human and nonhuman are interdependent, and ecological limits, restraints, and responsibilities are readily apparent and part of the nature of being. The norm is that indigenous cultuial ecologies are based on beliefs in the intrinsic value of the land and all that it contains. Romanticised notions of traditional ecological knowledge, however, will help neither the people themselves nor the lands they inhabit, and a realistic assessment of environmental knowledge is essential for appropriate and effective conservation.

Rock art documents elements of the vast environmental knowledge of many indigenous peoples, and recent work in this area suggests the value of this knowledge in addressing contemporary socio-ecological problems and sheds light on diverse ontologies of knowledge. Indigenous perceptions of nature, as expressed through social and cultural processes (including rock art), enrich our collective environmental understanding by providing regional specificity to global issues. Likewise, the ethno-ecology of rock art can benefit indigenous peoples by helping them gain greater political and economic control over their lands through claiming and exercising unique and relevant ecological knowledge. Community-based conservation techniques are not only effective strategies, but are internationally validated approaches to conservation that can bolster local resource management. Rock art can provide insight into past environmental ideologies and management practices, and can give us greater appreciation of the options available in addressing contemporary concerns.

The symposium 'Rock art and ecological knowledge' strives to increase our understanding and appreciation of the significance of environmental concerns in rock art. It explores how the physical world is the backdrop for expressive culture that relates to the interface between humans and Nature. Proposals for papers that address this central issue are solicited. We hope to solicit a diversity of approaches and case studies. While the specifics of the symposium are still being considered, it will be structured so as to facilitate dialogue and discussion; it will be participatory and may very well include some type of 'round-table' colloquy.

The main question the symposium seeks to address is: how can rock art studies shed light on diverse cultural ecologies? One approach to organising a paper around this theme that presenters may consider is to begin with this question, presenting one's data, and then returning to the question in their concluding section. Another approach would be to use a particular case study as a window onto the inquest, focusing on the ecological question throughout the paper. Presenters are asked to address the above question in insightful and creative ways.

Dr Paul Faulstich : Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies - Pitzer College - Claremont, CA 91711- U. S. A. - Tel: (909) 621-8818

E-mail : paul_faulstich@pitzer. edu

Dr Paul Tagon : Head of the People and Place Research Centre - Australian Museum - 6 College Street - Sydney, NSW 2000 - Australia

E-mail :  pault@amsg.austmus.gov.au

Dr David Bennett : Executive Director - The Australian Academy of the Humanities - GPO Box 93 - University House - Canberra, ACT 2601 - Australia

E-mail : David.Bennett@anu.edu.au

 

 

DATING ROCK ART

Chaired by Alan Watchman, Marian Hyman and Marvin Rowe

Papers are sought for a symposium on the dating of rock art at the third AURA Congress. As the sub-title of the Congress is 'Millennium: a fresh start' it seems appropriate that potential speakers not only look back at the history of rock art dating, but also to the future. New ideas and approaches to the relative and absolute dating of paintings and petroglyphs are welcome This forum will be a venue for discussing controversial issues and raising awareness about the ethics, problems and potential values of dating rock art. Paper titles and abstracts (up to 150 words long) are invited and should be submitted to one of the following:

Dr Alan Watchman : School of Anthropology and Archaeology - Faculty of Social Sciences - James Cook University - Townsville, Qld 4811 - Australia - Tel.: 61 (07) 47 815155 - Fax: 61 (07) 47 815244

E-mail : Alan.Watchman@jcu.edu.au

Professor Marvin Rowe and Dr Marian Hyman : Department of Chemistry - Texas A&M University - College Station, TX 77843-3255 - U. S. A.

E-mail : rowe@mail.chem.tamu.edu

 

 

EPISTEMOLOGY AND ROCK ART RESEARCH

Chaired by R. G. Bednarik and K. K. Chakravarty

Epistemology explores the nature and origin of knowledge, and in the case of humans this refers to human knowledge: how was it acquired? There is no reason that human constructs of reality, including that experienced by ourselves, need to be valid definitions of the real world. Indeed, our confidence in our own world view, which might involve concepts of time and threedimensional linear space, is misplaced, because there is no evolutionary reason to assume that the cognition of any intelligent species, such as humans, would necessarily evolve towards a better construct of reality. This is not the purpose of evolution.

Rather, human societies are likely to have developed constructs of reality, which in some way led to those held today. The only record that exists of these past conceptual artefacts is that which might be reflected in non-utilitarian residues of cultural remains, especially in rock art. In this symposium we wish to focus on the role of rock art in exploring the epistemologies of past human societies.

This is an extremely difficult pursuit, because it assumes that a contemporary intelligent organism, which barely understands the relativity of its own construct of reality, could effectively examine the constructs of previous peoples. Nevertheless, without formulating these problems we are not likely to free ourselves of the epistemological limitations imposed by our own world view, or to effectively study the manifestations of the world-views of others as reflected in rock arts.

There is a second, less sophisticated topic we wish to address in this symposium. Epistemology must also explore the nature of the data our ideas about a particular subject are derived from. The interpretation of empirical data about rock art needs to be conducted within the framework of a universal theory that expresses the relative position of any data by reference to absolutes. The universal theory about rock art, and any other discipline that deals with phenomena of the past and the processes rendering them interpretable, is metamorphology. A major factor of metamorphological procedure is taphonomic logic, the form of logic that treats evidence as systematically distorted and seeks to understand these distortions in order to introduce epistemological veracity into interpretation.

We invite papers on both of these topics. In view of the complexity of the topics we will not impose rigid time limits on presentations, and this symposium may be conducted in a workshop-like style. The lengths of papers should be commensurate with the complexity of the presenter's argument. Paper titles and abstracts (preferably of 100-150 words) are invited, and should be sent to either of these:

R. G. Bednarik : Editor, IFRAO and AURA - P.O. Box 216 - Caulfield South, Vic. 3162 - Australia - Tel. and Fax: 61 (03) 9523 0549

E-mail : aurawww@sunspot.sli.unimelb.edu.au

Dr K. K. Chakravarty: Director, National Museum of Man - P.O. Box 2 - Shamla Hills, Bhopal - 462 013 - India

 

ROUND TABLE SESSIONS

These sessions may involve the presentation of formal papers, but will primarily be conducted as workshop-style discussion forums:

Rock art science

Chaired by R. G. Bednarik and A. Muzzolini

 

Possible correlation of the Austronesian dispersal and rock art motifs across the Pacific

Chaired by Ralph Coffinan and Donald Stanley Marshall

Others to be advised.

 

Call for posters

News of the World 11 - IRAC 2000

Angelo Fossati and Paul Bahn

When we published the first volume of News of the World: recent developments in rock art research as the acts of Symposium 14D at the NEWS95 World Rock Art Congress at Turin, we were surprised by its great success among scholars and the general public alike. The aim of our symposium was to provide a general survey of the discoveries and advances in rock art studies over the previous five years. For these reasons we invited twenty-seven contributors from fifteen different parts of the world, but at the end of the symposium we realised that, on the next occasion, it would be better to create more subdivisions of some continents. So the News of the World II at the IRAC 2000 will cover twenty-four different regional or thematic areas, in each of which one or more scholars will present an overall summary of the discoveries of the last five years (19951999).

These papers will try to avoid historical introductions (as these were already included in the first volume), pet theories and skewed accounts. The texts will be in English, with concise summaries in Spanish and French if possible.

In addition to these invited contributions the News of the World 11 symposium invites anyone interested to send (or bring) a poster display regarding very recent (1995-1999) rock art discoveries or projects that have some archaeological relevance, avoiding general overviews since these are covered by the papers of other symposia.

The News of the World Symposium is a closed session of invited papers only, therefore this is not a 'Call for papers' but a 'Call for posters' only.

Dr Angelo Fossati : SocietÓ Cooperativa Archeologica 'Le Orme dell'Uomo - P.zzale Donatori di Sangue, 1 - 25040 Cerveno (Bs) - Italy

Dr Paul G. Bahn: 428 Anlaby Road - Hull HU3 6QP - England, U.K. -

 

Forthcoming events

    Images, ideas and perceptions of Affica - Learning, teaching and understanding. African Window, National Cultural History Museum Pretoria, Johannesburg, 27-29 August 1999. Conference presented by Rocustos Friends of Rock Art and Fine Arts Department of the University of South Africa. Contact Ansie Steyn, Rocustos Friends of Rock Art, P.O. Box 28088, Sunnyside 0132, South Africa. Tel.: 27 12 3411320, Fax: 27 12 3416146 email: ansies&nchm.co.za

    ISAA Annual Conference 1999. Canberra, 16 and 17 September 1999. Paper titles and short abstracts to be submitted by 30 June 1999 to Arm Moyal, Independent Scholars Association of Australia (ISAA) Inc., P.O. Box 268, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia.

    Indigenous People and Archaeology, 32nd Annual Chacmool Conference. Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 11-14 November 1999. Abstracts and enquiries to 1999 Chacmool Conference, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N IN4. E-mail: chacmool@ucalgary.ca

    Transformations. Mandurah, Western Australia, 9-11 December 1999. Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference 1999. Enquiries to AAA Conference 99, c/o Centre for Archaeology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands W.A. 6907. Fax: (08) 9380 1023.

    Second Worldwide Conference, Society for East Asian Archaeology. Durham, England, U.K., 6-9 July 2000. Proposals for panels and papers should be sent to: Gideon Shelach, Department of East Asian Studies, The Hebrew University, Mt Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Fax: 972-2-5322545, E-mail: msshe@mscc.huji.ac.il

    AURA 2000: the Third AURA Congress. Comprises the IRAC 2000 and the 2000 IFRAO Meeting. Alice Springs, Australia, 10-14 July 2000. See announcements above, and elsewhere in RAR.


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