Centre for Rock Art Research + Management

Outside Australia

An Archaeology of Graffiti

(Graffiti. Oxford, England. Photo: Sven Ouzman)(Graffiti. Oxford, England. Photo: Sven Ouzman)

Investigators

A democratic Archaeology seeks to understand the lives of all people, past and present. Graffiti is a productively transgressive artefact that inscribes the lives of people history often chooses to ignore. Archaeology – a discipline that utilises multiple technologies of surveillance – is well-situated to study the materiality and spatiality of this often long-lived artefact. This project seeks to better understand the relationships between ‘art’, ‘rock art’ and ‘graffiti’.

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Beyond animality and humanity: The constitution of identity in the early Upper Palaeolithic of Central Europe

Photo:P.Frankenstein, H. Zwietasch; copyright Landesmuseum Wurttemberg, Stutt(Photo: P. Frankenstein, H. Zweitasch; copyright Landesmuseum Wurttemberg, Stutt)

Investigators

The first fieldwork season for this project will be conducted in 2012. This project is a pilot study investigating the viability of a range of advanced digital recording and analysis technologies in the collaborative management and communication of Indigenous rock art. The project will look into how these technologies can play a role in navigating the issues of sensitively documenting and communicating Indigenous rock art. An aim of this project is the establishment of procedures, records and tolls to enable Traditional Owners to engage with rock art in new ways and at the same time staying in control of the level of access that is given to different interested parties.

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Imprints: An Archaeology of Identity and Journey

(Rock engraving of what may be a spoor of extinct bird Genyornis newtoni. Weaber Range, Northern Territory, Australia. Photo: Sven Ouzman)(Rock engraving of what may be a spoor of extinct bird Genyornis newtoni. Weaber Range, Northern Territory, Australia. Photo: Sven Ouzman)

Investigators

Footprints are a powerful metonym and metaphor for the human condition. From the 3.6 million year-old hominin trackway at Laetoli to ‘small steps’ on the moon, prints are potent vectors of identity and journey. Many rock art traditions depict the prints of humans, other animals and Beings. Much more than ‘images’, these prints are integral to a phenomenological ‘being in the world’. This project traces the origins and trajectories of humanised pathways.

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The materiality of rock artThe materiality of rock art

Investigators

This project interrogates the relationships between hunter-gatherer beliefs, materiality, and rock art. Of particular importance are culturally significant minerals such as quartz, found in many regions and in or near many rock art sites worldwide. This project includes case studies in Australia, the USA, and South Africa.

  

 

Modern human origins: Critique and Reassessment

(Photo: Martin Porr; copyright UWA)(Photo: Martin Porr; copyright UWA)

Investigators

This is an ongoing conceptual and theoretical project that is aimed at providing a broader and reflective understanding of so-called modern human origins through multidisciplinary analyses of archaeological and anthropological evidence. One focus of the project is the relevance of evidence from Australasia for the interpretation of modern human cultural and biological variability.

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North of the Southern Arc: Pleistocene Settlement and Environmental History of the Phillippine/The Mindoro Biodiversity Project

(Photo: Martin Porr; copyright UWA)(Photo: Martin Porr; copyright UWA)

Investigators

This is a collaborative project between the University of Western Australia and the University of the Philippines (supported by the National Museum of the Philippines) aimed at identifying contexts with a high potential for the stratified preservation of Pleistocene settlement remains in Mindoro Occidental. Mindoro is the seventh biggest island in the Philippine Archipelago and is situated between Palawan and the main island of Luzon. Targeted fieldwork on this island presents the potential to fill an important gap between well-known Late Pleistocene sites of Niah (Sarawak), Tabon (Palawan) and Callao Cave (Luzon). During 2010 and 2011 site survey work was undertaken and a number of promising contexts have been identified, mostly in karstic situations. In 2011 the first test excavations were conducted, which represent the first systematic archaeological investigations into prehistoric occupation contexts altogether in Mindoro. The project is currently in its first analysis phase.

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The Rock Arts of Southern Africa

(Multi-ethnic 'Korana' rock art. Central South Africa. Photo: Sven Ouzman)(Multi-ethnic 'Korana' rock art. Central South Africa. Photo: Sven Ouzman)

Investigators

The rock art of the Khoekhoen herders of southern Africa. This is an ongoing project to consider an under-explored component of southern African rock art: the paintings and engravings of Khoekhoen herders made within the last two millennia. The current phase of the project considers the meaning of a set of images that dominate the geometric iconography of this art.

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Rock Art of the Western Desert and Great Basin

Investigator

Jo McDonald was granted an ARC Future Fellowship in 2011 to study how people use rock art as they first move into arid zones and then how rock art can reveal changes in social organisation, responses to climate change and other major changes in human adaptation to living in deserts. Based largely on the recording work done for the Canning Stock Route Project McDonald will be analysing the rock art of the Western Desert, continuing the rock art dating programme and continuing to liaise with traditional owners about the significance and meaning of rock art and its interface with the Dreaming. While in the States, she is based at UC Berkeley. She is developing research collaborations with a number of Great Basin scholars to investigate patterning in the North American arid-zone rock art. She is also liaising with colleagues at the Berkley Centre of Digital Archaeology (CoDA) to develop partnerships in a digital heritage future.

 

 

Rock Art and knowledge: Philosophy, Epistemology, Methods

(Photo: Martin Porr; copyright UWA)(Photo: Martin Porr; copyright UWA)

Investigator

This is an ongoing conceptual and theoretical project into the relationships between rock art and different forms of knowledge in human societies. This project is aimed at providing critical perspectives of these relationships through the analysis of ethnographic as well as archaeological contexts.

Rock art heritage off the rocks

Rock art heritage off the rocks

Investigator

Rock art – an integral part of visual heritage and Indigenous knowledge systems – remains powerfully relevant to what it means to be human. Indeed, rock art is implicated in cultural identity today in many different contexts: social, political, commercial. This project, in conjunction with Stanford University (USA) and the University of York (UK), is funded by the European Union’s Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship Committee. It analyses exactly how rock art is used, and how it influences identity-formation processes, in three ‘modern’ nations today: Australia, the USA, and South Africa. This project also tests the proposal that appropriate management of fragile rock art heritage sites in national parks can and does make a difference, challenging people's preconceptions of rock art and of the Indigenous people who made it.

 

 

Rock art regionalism and identity

Rock art regionalism and identity

Investigator

Researchers often write of rock art regions without according the concept sufficient theoretical consideration. How should rock art regions be defined, and how should they be compared? Satisfactory answers to these questions necessarily include assessments of the relationships between rock art, other archaeological data, and landscape; also, the relationships between rock art, ethnography, and neuropsychological models; and, ultimately, the ‘origins’ of and motivations for rock art production and consumption. This project addresses socio-economic and ideological aspects of rock art in under-studied regions, both with and without ethnography. The main case study area is the Pilbara, Western Australia.

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Last updated:
Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 2:12 PM

http://uwa.edu.au/rock-art/2345054