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Students interested in the rock art course conducted by the University of Nottingham @ KL might be interested in making use of the new subsidised rates for ASEAN members – actually, more than just ASEAN, see the full list here.

Gua Tambun, Malaysia

To recap:


Several hundred thousand rock-art sites lie scattered across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Americas and Pacific islands. Together these sites contain millions of images of individual or group identity, most of which were made from about 30,000 years ago. As paintings, drawings, engravings, prints, stencils and beeswax designs, rock-art has captured Western and Asian imagination since at least the late 1700s but it was only in the early 1900s that Science accepted rock-art as something legitimate to study. However, rock-art remained marginal to archaeology until the early 1980s, with it only recently emerging as an area of serious and concerted research. Today new discoveries and ideas of their origin are trumpeted in academic journals and on the front pages of newspapers and magazines on a regular basis and rigorous methods have been developed to study rock-art. In this course students are introduced to world rock-art and many of its major art bodies. Topics discussed by way of illustrated lectures include:

• The origins of art
• Working with indigenous peoples
• Survey and recording
• Rock-art dating
• Conservation and management
• Bridging to archaeological and ethnographic records
• Documenting cultural contact and change
• Group versus individual identity
• Monsters and supernatural beings
• Rock-art and ecology
• Re-contextualising rock-art
• Rock-art and mass media
• The rock-art of different geographic areas
• Rock-art as a wider ritual package
• The new rock-art of the Ghetto
The aim of the course is to introduce students to world rock-art and the landscapes in which they are placed. Particular interest will be the way we interact with our shared palaeoart heritage; to illustrate its connection and relevance to contemporary art and culture; to introduce the protocols and ethics of studying art produced by other cultures; and to develop a range of research and presentation skills. An overriding aim to emphasise the key role creativity plays in everyone’s lives, including those of the students themselves.


This course is designed to have ten major learning outcomes:

1. To provide an introduction to our world rock-art heritage.
2. To provide an understanding of ethics and protocols when working with indigenous peoples.
3. To develop creativity and creative practice.
4. To develop research techniques.
5. To provide experience translating pictures into words.
6. To hone writing skills.
7. To provide experience in public presentation.
8. To provide specific rock-art and landscape archaeology training.
9. To understand rock-art chronology and panel stratigraphy.
10. To understand the cultural links between ancient and modern rock-artists.


This course will comprise a series of lectures and workshops that will introduce students to method, theory and practice, with the three fully intertwined and integrated with each other. Although the focus relates to the course topic, rock-art and landscapes, many aspects of theory, method and practice will be relevant and applicable to other aspects of archaeology, human evolution, contemporary art, Indigenous studies and even daily life.

Related Books:
The Archaeology of Rock-Art (New Directions in Archaeology)
Introduction to Rock Art Research
Handbook of Rock Art Research

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