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V International Rock Art Symposium, Bolivia, September 18-24, 2000

The Bolivian Rock Art Research Society SIARB is organising its FIFTH
INTERNATIONAL ROCK ART SYMPOSIUM which will take place in the city of
Tarija on September
18-24, 2000.

SIARB already organized 4 similar events which were carried out successfully in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1997. The Fifth International Rock Art Symposium will deal with the following:

- Session 1: Recording of rock art sites, discussed in a forum among rock art specialists coming from several continents, exemplified in a Workshop which will record rock paintings and engravings at a site near Tarija.
Chairpersons: Jane Kolber, ARARA and Rock Art Recording School of the Archaeological Society of Arizona, and Freddy Taboada, SIARB.

- Session 2: Rock art in south Bolivia, NW Argentina and north Chile.
Chairpersons: Alicia Fernandez Distel, Museo Arqueológico Provincial. Jujuy, Argentina, and Carlos Methfessel, SIARB.

- Session 3: Sites, methods, theories and archaeological/ethnohistoric
Chairpersons: Mario Consens, CIARU, Uruguay and Guillermo Muñoz GIPRI, Colombia.


Rationale of Session 1 (by Jane Kolber):

This conference aims to discuss appropiate documentation (or recording) of rock paintings and engravings (petroglyphs), including traditional methods as well as modern technology.
The utmost importance of a reliable and comprehensive recording of rock art sites is obvious: it is the basis of all conservation, preservation and research of rock art. Without it no valid or productive accomplishments can be achieved. Processes began with simple sketches and photographs and have progressed to high technological methodology. Each rock art site and project requires specific processes to meet its needs. The size, location, construction, whether painted or engraved, cultural and archaeological
setting, accessibility, ownership and management, unique requirements and circumstances of specific regions or countries all effect the processes chosen. Time, funds, skills, and interests or the recording group also contribute to the limitations of the work. The specific purpose whether for conservation, site management, research assignment, etc. must be considered in planning the project. Determining the processes to utilize should be based on these and other considerations. For these reasons a recorder,
conservator, researcher must know as many approaches and techniques as possible, where they may either learn to produce them or obtain the services of those who can should be available. To this end, this symposium is being held to enable the sharing of knowledge and expérience in all areas of rock art documentation encouraging a broad spectrum of ideas and methodology. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding and more skills, with the purpose of encouraging and facilitating the addition of more
documented sites and thereby more protected and researched rock art sites.

In previous meetings of rock art specialists in Latin America (including the four international symposia organized by SIARB between 1988 and 1997) there have never been sections dedicated entirely to the subject of rock art recording. While some investigators in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and other Latin American countries carry out rock art research in a scientific way, in many cases, rock art recording is unsatisfactory: it is not part of a comprehensive plan of investigation and/or management of sites, remains
incomplete, and sometimes even uses intrusive methods, such as chalking out of engravings, which distort the existing rock art or endanger its conservation (such as wetting rock paintings). Over the past 12 years,
SIARB has tried to promote non-intrusive scientific rock art recording. Its Fifth International Rock Art Symposium will be an important step in this direction.

Section 1 of the conference will provide papers by international investigators on different approaches and methods used in the documentation of rock art which will be discussed among participants (presentations may be in Spanish, Portuguese or English - a Spanish abstract will be provided in any case in a handbook including the program, etc.). Recorders with different opinions, processes and purposes will make an oral presentation of a maximum of 20 minutes. Each presentation will be followed by a discussion period (up to 10 minutes). A final discussion evaluating over-all aspects of all given papers will take place at the end of the session and should result in some guidelines for rock art recording. There is also the possibility to present a poster on rock art recording instead of a paper.

The Workshop will provide a rare opportunity to evaluate an existing partial recording of a complex rock art site and try out and discuss alternative methods.

Some 100 investigators will participate in this event, mainly from Bolivia and Argentina, with a few participants from other countries, such as Colombia, Brazil, Chile, USA, Italy and Germany. Due to the characteristics of the workshop, only 20 people will participate in this <recording school> who must all have previous experience in rock art documentations.

The conference will take one week, divided into the following parts: 1st to 2nd day - Section 1 (Recording of rock art). 3rd day - Section 2 (rock art along the Bolivian Argentinian frontier). 4th to 7th day: Workshop.
Sections will start at 8.30 in the morning, with a coffee break and lunch break and go on till the late afternoon. In the evening, there will be special presentations, such as the inauguration of an exhibition on rock art of Tarija and the presentation of videos. The workshop will take place mainly in the field, at the rock art site La Aguada, situated at 12 km distance from the city of Tarija.

There will also be a program of excursions to archaeological sites and rock art of Tarija in the days preceding the symposium.

Papers: The registration of papers should be carried out by sending a summary with a maximum of 150 words to the organizers by May 30th, 2000.
During the Symposium the complete text (print-out and disquette) must be submitted to the symposium chairpersons. Papers are planned to be published in a volume of the symposium proceedings.

There is a registration fee of $US 50. For further information, contact:

Matthias Strecker, SIARB, Casilla 3091, La Paz, Bolivia (Tel./Fax: 591-2-711809, e-mail: siarb@acelerate.com).

Regarding tourism and hotels, contact:

Carlos Methfessel, SIARB, Casilla 139, Tarija, Bolivia (Tel./Fax 591-66-30826, e-mail: methfess@olivo.tja.entelnet.bo)

Flights with LAB: Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB) is offering participants of this Symposium a 20% discount on their fares, for flights from abroad as well as for domestic flights to Tarija. Participants who wish to use this promotion must contact LAB´s regional office (in the USA: 225 S.E. First St., Miami, FL 33131, phone (800) 327-7407) and submit some kind of document that certifies their inscription to the symposium.