Art And Symbolism

Convened By
Sally May (Australia), Inés Domingo Sanz (Spain) and Iddir Amara (France)

Theme Details
This theme explores the many ways in which human beings construct their social identities through art and associated symbolism. The sessions focus on a wide range of representational forms, including rock art, figurines, body art, contemporary paintings and other artefacts.


The Politics Of Representation: Iconography And Design

Organized By
Christopher Slogar (USA) and Flora Vilches (USA)

Session Details
Organized by Christopher Slogar ( and Flora Vilches (

Figurative images representing human beings, supernatural beings, animals, plants, and inanimate objects have long been vital to understanding creativity and the construction of history. This session explores the relationships between people and mimetic objects, and the ways in which archaeology has shed light upon and created these relationships. Representational objects, be they cast, carved, molded, woven, incised, or painted, were never without meaning, having been created to further specific agendas-whether personal, political, spiritual, and/or economic in nature. How do iconography and design reflect-or affect-these motives? How is knowledge transmitted through objects, and how is it concealed? What, exactly, constitutes a “representation” (perhaps in terms of naturalism/abstraction) and what does this tell us about society? How are changing iconographies and the “evolution” of design related to social change? What are the motives for, and consequences of, instances of anti-representation (i.e. iconoclasm)?

Furthermore, the politics of representation is not limited to images and their own specific historical contexts, but must also deal with interpreters’ methods of ascribing meaning to those objects. Concerning the practice of archaeology (or art history or anthropology) and the construction of history-our “re-presentation” of the past-what factors are involved in the interpretation of representational images from archaeological contexts, i.e. what bearing does contemporary politics have on the interpretation of the past? For example, early in the twentieth century, the German Leo Frobenius claimed to have found relics of a lost Greek colony in the Nigerian city of Ile-Ife, because the naturalistically modeled brass heads he saw there surpassed European expectations of African achievement. Thus, how have “wrong” interpretations of all kinds-from innocent inaccuracies to outright forgeries-affected our understanding of the past and influenced our relationships with present-day peoples? What can be done to avoid such mistakes in the future?

International perspectives on these issues are sought, and papers that critically address the past, and its relationship to the present, are encouraged.

Iconographies And Ideologies: The Example Of The Mesopotamian And Indo-European Worlds
Paul-Louis van Berg (Université Libre de Bruxelles) Group Identity, Individual Creativity and Symbolic Generation in a BaKongo Diaspora
Christopher Fennell (Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia)
Fremont Figurines: Communication And Corporality
Adam Fish (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, 21223 Marine View Drive, Seattle WA 98166 USA) Relational Visions: Objects, People and Places in NW Argentina During the 1st Millennium AD
Marisa Lazzari (Department of Anthropology, Columbia University)
Figurative Representation And The Politics Of Display In Prehistoric South-East Italy
Robin Skeates (Department of Archaeology, University of Durham)

Session Time
Day Sunday Date 22nd June
Time 4-6PM Room McMahon 209

Caribbean Rock Art – Conservation And Preservation, Individual And Institutional Perspectives

Organized By
Michele H. Hayward (USA) and Lesley-Gail Atkinson (Jamaica)

Session Details
Michele H. Hayward, Ph.D, RPA,
Panamerican Consultants, Inc.
2390 Clinton Street
Buffalo, New York 14227
Phone: 716 821-1650
Fax: 716 821-1607
Lesley-Gail Atkinson
49 Aqualita Vale Avenue
Kingston, Jamaica
Phone: 876 925-0163
Fax: 876 967-8072
Session Rationale:
Rock art is widely distributed among the Caribbean islands as well as the adjacent mainland. Individual and institutional conservation efforts are less well known and represent a range of approaches modified by the local political, economic and social context. Participants from different regions will discuss their personal or governmental efforts at rock art preservation, including the number, types and locations of, public attitudes towards, and motivations (academic advancement or as part of museum conservation goals) for the conservation of, rock art. To enrich the session content, a rock art preservation specialist will be in attendance. Knowledge about the status and current methods of rock art conservation is a critical component to their further study and preservation.

Session Participants:

Michele H. Hayward, Ph.D., RPA
Dr. Hayward has recently been involved in the documentation and study of rock art on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Her efforts include junior authorship of the book, Puerto Rican Rock Art: A Resource Guide 1999, and co-authorship of National Register of Historic Places Thematic and Individual rock art site nominations. Dr. Hayward will be able to provide detailed information on the status of rock art on these islands, in addition to the United States governmental attitudes towards their preservation.

Michael A. Cinquino, Ph.D. RPA
Dr. Cinquino possesses a number of years of experience in Puerto Rican rock art research, including junior authorship of the aforementioned resource guide book and National Register of Historic Places rock art nomination forms. He also served as the State Archaeologist in the Puerto Rican State Historic Preservation Office and will be able to address local governmental attitudes towards rock art conservation.

Johannes Loubser, Ph.D., RPA
Dr. Loubser involvement in rock art conservation includes presentation of background information on rock art site management and preservation measures for a rock art conservation workshop at the Denver 2002 Society of American Archaeology meetings. He has also designed preservation procedures for various clients. Dr. Loubser is well- qualified to serve as a resource person for the session.

Peter G. Roe, Ph.D.
Dr. Roe, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Delaware, has been researching rock art sites on Puerto Rico for several years. He has promoted their conservation through documentation, publication of articles on their interpretation, and the training of graduate-level students. Dr. Roe will be able to comment on his individual efforts, and local attitudes towards rock art conservation.

Jay Haviser, Ph.D.
Dr. Haviser possess varied research experience in the Caribbean, especially the Netherlands Antilles. His membership in the Caribbean Museum Association will allow him to address not only the status of rock art on Curacao and Bonaire, but the local and institutional attitudes towards preservation.

Lesley-Gail Atkinson
Ms. Atkinson’s rock art research involves sites on Jamaica. She will be to provide information on the condition of, and attitudes toward, rock art on this Caribbean island.

Arminda Ruiz
Ms. Ruiz and/or other representatives from the Archaeological Museum of Aruba are particularly interested in attending, since the Museum intends to increase their efforts for the conservation and study of Aruban rock art.

Information concerning the session has also been sent to researchers on the French Caribbean islands, Santo Domingo, Cuba and Venezuela. Dr. Hayward hopes that individuals from these islands may yet participate, particularly after posting of the session.

Session Format:
With the exception of Dr. Loubser, each participant is expected to prepare data on the status of rock art in his or her area reflecting his or her experiences involving one or more of following topics: the number, location, extent of documentation and physical condition of sites, existing or planned agency/governmental/museum conservation programs, and local attitudes towards, or preservation efforts of, rock art sites. The information should be prepared in a paper or writtenformat (page length variable), from which a 5 to 10 minute abstract is to be presented at the workshop. Discussion can then proceed from this baseline data among the participants, resource person, and audience involving methods to improve existing or to begin implementing rock art preservation measures which are tailored to local conditions.
Rock Art Site Management And The US Federal Government In The Caribbean
Michael A. Cinquino The Status and Preservation of Jamaican Cave Art
Lesley-Gail Atkinson
Rock Art Site Management Principals
Johannes Loubser Rocks of Ages: Petroglyphs, Pictographs and Identity in Ancient Puerto Rico
Peter Roe
The Status Of Rock Art Sites On Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands
Michele H. Hayward Collaboration and education: The preservation and management of pictographs and petroglyph sites in Aruba
Arminda Ruiz

Session Time
Day Monday Date 23rd June
Time 4-6PM Room McMahon 209

Rock Art: Meanings Then And Meanings Now

Organized By
Benjamin Smith (South Africa), Andrej Rozwadowski (Poland) and Christopher Chippendale (UK)

Session Details
Benjamin Smith
Rock Art Research Institute, University of theWitwatersrand, South Africa

Andrzej Rozwadowski
Eastern Studies Institute, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

Christopher Chippindale
CambridgeUniversity Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, England

Rock-art is a special kind of ancient evidence because it is a direct recordmade by ancient people of their own world as they saw it, experienced it andknew it to be. At the heart of rock-art studies then, alongside the routinearchaeological interests in chronology and form, are questions of meaning.

What did the art mean, to the people who made it, to the society in its own time and place? What archaeological methods can reach that meaning? Mostly, we have used a mixture of informed methods, those that benefit from direct knowledge, ethnohistory or ethnography to gain insight into original meaning, and of formal methods, those that instead work from the information encoded in the images themselves and from their archaeological context. What are these informed and formal methods, how can they be advanced, strengthened and improved?

Rock-art, once made and enduring on the rock-surfaces, offers for the same reasons direct and vivid messages from the past in the present today. What meanings does rock-art take on in the world today? How do those meanings relate to the meanings it held for the ancient people who made the images? Do modern meanings preserve and perpetuate ancient meanings? Should they?

Benjamin Smith
Director, Rock Art Research Institute
Acting Head, Archaeology Division of the
School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies
University of the Witwatersrand
Private Bag 3, P.O. Wits 2050
Gauteng, South Africa.
Tel: SA 11 717 6044
Fax: SA 11 339 1620

The Significance Of Space And Discourse For The Meaning Of Rock Art – A Namibian Example
Tilman Lenssen-Erz (Heinrich-Barth-Institut, Universitaet Koeln, Jennerstr. 8, D-50823 Koeln) Nouveaux documents rupestres inédits de l’Oued Aguennar (Ahaggar, Algérie)
Iddir Amara (Docteur en Préhistoire, Anthropologie et Ethnologie, Chargé de Recherche au CNERPAH (ex. CRAPE, Alger, Algérie)), Mohand Hamoudi (Attaché d’étude au CNERPAH et Conservateur au Parc National de l’Ahaggar, Algérie) and Djedjiga Medouni (Conservatrice au Parc National de l’Ahaggar, Algérie)
The Depiction Of Animals In Indigenous Australian Rock Art
Russell Clark (Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA, 5001, Australia) Challenges for Rock Art Conservation in Southern Africa: Traditional use of sites in Mozambique
Andrew P.R. Salomon (Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
New Light On The Rock Art Of The Anti-Atlas (Morocco)
Renate Heckendorf (B ürgerweide 80, D-20535 Hamburg, Germany) Rock Art Of Tocantins – Brazil
Júlia Cristina Berra (Rua Bartira 1052 apt. 35, São Paulo SP Brazil)
Art And Tradition: Changing Context Of The Meaning Of Central Asian Rock Art
Andrzej Rozwadowski (Eastern Studies Institute, Adam Mickiewicz,University, Poland) Where and who ? Some questions about Rock Art in Island South East Asia
Jean-michel Chazine (Maison ASIE-PACIFIQUE/CREDO, Campus St Charles-Université de Provence, Marseille, France)
The Significance Of Space And Discourse For The Meaning Of Rock Art – A Namibian Example
Tilman Lenssen-Erz (Heinrich-Barth-Institut, Universitaet Koeln, Jennerstr. 8, D-50823 Koeln) Technological Aspects of Art from Bastar, Chhattisgarh (India)
Arun Kumar (Dept. of Anthropology, Ravi Shankar University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India)
Les Représentations ‘sexuelles’ Dans L’art Rupestre Saharien
Iddir Amara (Docteur en Préhistoire, Anthropologie et Ethnologie, Chargé de Recherche au CNERPAH, ex. CRAPE, Alger, Algérie)

Session Time
Day Sunday Date 22nd June
Time 9AM-1PM Room McMahon 209

The Politics Of Representation 2: Iconography And Agency

Organized By
Anita G. Cook (USA) and Emily Kaplan (USA)

Session Details

The Art Of Empire In The Andes: A Comparison Of Inca And Huari Ceramic Drinking Assemblages And Iconography
Anita G. Cook (Associate Professor, The Catholic University of America, Department of Anthropology, Washington DC, USA) and Tamara L. Bray (Associate Professor, Wayne State University, Department of Anthropology, Detroit, USA) Andean Ceremonial Drinking Cups: Representation, Materials and Technology Over Time
Emily Kaplan (Conservation Department, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Cultural Resources Center, Suitland, MD, USA) and Catherine J. Allen (Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA)
The Thracians – Iconography And Imagery
Valeriu Sirbu (President of Funerary Archaeology Studies Association, XXXth Commission of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences, Museum of Braila; 3, Place Traian, 6100 – Braila, ROMANIA)
Body painting in action. The creation of social divisions through ceremonial image making and display in Tierra del Fuego
Dánae Fiore (Postdoctoral fellow, CONICET-AIA-UBA, National Council of Scientific and Technological Research, Asociación de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires)
A Sacred Maya Place: Rock Art, Rituals And Hunting At La Casa De Las Golondrinas, Guatemala
Eugenia Robinson (Montgomery College)
Images of Power: Representation in Early Egypt
Kathryn Piquette (MPhil/PhD Egyptology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London)
The Wessex Master Goldsmith: His Work And Its Implications
Joan J. Taylor (John Rankin Reader in Prehistoric Archaeology, Hartley Building-SACOS, University of Liverpool, Brownlow Street, Liverpool, UK) Ecuador, One with the Sun and the Moon: the Meaning of Gold- Platinum and Gold-Silver Work in Ancient America
Paulina Ledergerber-Crespo (Research Associate, NHB-112, P.O.Box 37012, Anthropology Department, Washington, D.C., USA)

Maya Clothing And Maya Archaeology
Blanca Estela Alvarado
Session Time
Day Thursday Date 26th June
Time 9AM-1PM Room McMahon 209

Symbolising Identity And Ritual Process

Organized By
Vladimir Ionesov (Russia)

Session Details

Cenotaphs As Symbolic Complexes
Vladimir Ionesov (Samara Society for Cultural Studies, Samara, Russia)
New-comers in Romania belonging to the tumular ochre burials and their interrelations with the local populations
Alexandra Comsa (The Romanian Institute of Thracology,1st. Schitu Magureanu Str. 2nd Floor, sector 5, Bucharest, Romania)
Early Indian Objects Of Art And Handicraft From Scythian And Sarmatian Barrows Of Russia
Yaroslav Vassilkov (Institute of Oriental Studies) Funerary patterns in Alto Marañon, Ancash, Peru
Elmer Huerta Lobaton (Universidad Nacional Federico Villareal)
Medieval Burial Site In The Polar Zone Of West Siberia: The Results Of Researches And Some Ethics Problems
Natalia V. Fedorova (Ekaterinburg, Russia) Landscaping Grief: The Advent of the American Lawn Cemetery
Chana Kraus-Friedberg
Symbolic Representation Of Women, Men And Children In The Burial Rites At The Beginning Of Bronze Age In Central Europe
Jan Turek (Department of Archaeology, University of West Bohemia, Plzen, Czech republic)

Session Time
Day Monday Date 23rd June
Time 9-11AM Room McMahon 209

A Global Approach To Obtaining Meaning From Early Art

Organized By
Ines Domingo Sanz (Spain) and Emmanuel Anati (Italy)

Session Details
Understanding the meaning of early art is a challenge for archaeology today. Much valuable description has been undertaken throughout the world, but now it is time to go further and to dig for meaning. One aspect of meaning is the reconstruction of the cognitive processes behind art. Association and symbolisation, the repetitive patterns of sequences and compositions, assemblages of images and symbols are the reflection of cognitive processes in the human mind. In the analysis of cause and effect archaeology can follow the inverse process from effect to cause. Structural analyses focus on clarifying two main processes: the grammatical process, which is the typological variety of items, and the syntactical process, which consists in the associations between items.

Different types of art and different styles from diverse regions reveal the immense variety of data elaboration in the human mind, showing common denominators, and even archetypes, which occur all over, as well as specific features, with a local or chronological value. This session aims to understand universal as well as local phenomena.
The Art Of Beginnings
Emmanuel Anati (Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici, Italy) The Distribution and Antiquity of the California Pecked Curvilinear Nucleated (PCN) Rock Art Tradition
Donna Gillette (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
The Stylistic Value Of Technique. Analysis Of Repetition And Distribution Guidelines Of Representation Techniques In Levantine Rock Art
Inés Domingo Sanz (Dpt. de Prehistoria i Arqueologia, Universitat de Valencia, Avda. Blasco Ibañez, 28, 46010 Valencia, Spain) The recent archaeological finds of Champa art in Central Vietnam
Tran Ky Phuong (Independent Scholar/Expert on Champa Art, 642/3 Nui Thanh St., Hai Chau Dist., Danang, Vietnam)
Solar Ships From The Desert To The Alps
Dr. George Dimitriadis (HERAC) Petroglyphs of Gemigaya
Veli Aliyev (Azerbaijan National Science Academy, Institute of Ethnography and Archaeology)
New Light On Scandinavian Mesolithic Art
Dr. Per Karsten (National Heritage Board, Archaeological Excavations Dept, Åkergränden 8, 226 60 Lund, Sweden) Les figures rupestres du massif de Serkout (Sahara central, Ahaggar, Algérie)
Iddir Amara (Docteur en Préhistoire, Anthropologie et Ethnologie, Chargé de Recherche au CNERPAH (ex. CRAPE, Alger, Algérie))

Session Time
Day Wednesday Date 25th June
Time 4-6pm Room McMahon 209

South American Prehistoric Rock Art

Organized By
Guilherme Albagli de Almeida (Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Departamento de Letras e Artes, Ilheus Bahia Brazil) and Pedro Maria Arguello Garcia (Independent Researcher Graduated in Social Sciences and Anthropology, Bogota, Colombia)

Session Details
South American prehistoric rock art, as most everywhere, is one of the most expressive texts about the local human past, as well as being under great threat of destruction before it can be fully known and understood. Locally restricted evidence co-exists with signs of continental distribution, pointing to human settlements and movements in space. Groups of faded graphic signs can be found besides strongly pigmented ones of more recent probably execution, indicating a long-term culture of painting rocks for a variety of purposes. Much work done recently by South American based researchers such as A. M. Pesis, N. Guidon, M. Consens, J. Schobinger and E. Pereira in this field does not begin to exhaust the subject herein presented.

Session Time
Day Monday Date 23rd June
Time 4-6PM Room Life Cycle 108