Academic journal article Rock Art Research


Academic journal article Rock Art Research


Article excerpt


The IFRAO Congress 2018 will be held at Darfo Boario, Valcamonica, northern Italy, from 29 August to 2 September 2018 (RAR 34-1:119-120). The rock art researchers of the world are invited to prepare titles and abstracts for presentations in the following sessions:

A northerner's view on rock art. Aspects, mobility and materiality on the Scandinavian rock art

Johan Ling, Sweden, Swedish Rock Art Research Archives, Department of Historical Studies: Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden; Jan Magne Gjerde, Department, of History and Religious Studies. UiT- The Arctic University of Norway, Norway.

The intention of this session is to shed light on Scandinavian rock art regardless of regions, traditions time and space. There has been a tendency among rock art research to merely focus on either the Northern Rock Art Tradition (NT) or the Southern Tradition (ST). There exist some general similarities in terms of the location of rock art, narratives, chronology and formats used in time and space between these traditions but also obvious differences. Thus, the objective with this session is to stimulate different perspectives and themes that highlights the intersection between these two rock art traditions in Scandinavia.

Advances in rock art research from the Kimberley, north-west Australia

Peter Veth, Centre for Rock Art Research, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia; Jane Balme, Centre for Rock Art Research, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia; Sue O'Connor, School of Culture, History & Language, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

This session aims to profile a suite of current and past Australian Research Council and other research projects from across the Kimberley over the last decade,

a) Regionalism in Kimberley rock art: the Kimberley has been characterised as a style province for over 40 years even though it shares many style elements with Arnhem Land. There are also significant variations within the Kimberley repertoire at the regional and sub-regional level. Clearly different scales of spatial resolution will be fruitful in addressing both a) shared style elements over larger areas, and b) understanding variability at the (sub)regional level as a product of socio-linguistic, demographic and temporal factors.

b) Advances in dating rock art: multi-institutional projects are developing novel methods and techniques to date the stylistically distinct art periods from the Kimberley. These include U-series dating of mineral crusts (beyond oxalates), cosmogenic radionuclide dating of scars and roof fall events, and a combination AMS and OSL dating of mud-wasp nests and plasma oxidation pre-treatment for AMS dating.

c) Art within archaeological contexts: the excavation of occupation sites associated with art production has increased in northern Australia, adopting an archaeo-morphology approach as advocated from work in the Aurignadan-aged cave systems of France (such as Grotte Chauvet) and sites like Nwarla Gabammang in the Northern Territory. The approach can recover plaques with pigment art fallen from rockshelter walls and re-fitted using laser techniques. Micro-fragments of ochre as well as crayons can be recovered as well as paint splashes and other forensic traces. In addition, other types of symbolic behaviours (such as ornament production and ochre application on human bodies, wooden artefacts and stone tools) can also be deduced from recovered assemblages. Recent research projects adopting these approaches will be profiled.

d) Contact rock art: the North-West of Australia has a long history of contact spanning the era 1606 until the 20th century and possibly earlier from pre-Macassan voyagers from SE Asia. These encounters and sometimes economic and social relations are captured in contact art ranging from various sailing vessels from SE Asia, Europe and the Americas through to pastoral themes such as the buggy, horse and rifle. …

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