by Wendy All
Volunteer, Rock Art Archive, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
The UCLA Rock Art Archive was again invited to participate in the international Art on the Rocks colloquium, led by Neville Agnew of the Getty Conservation Institute and held this year on June 24 to July 2. During the colloquium, the third in a series, two dozen participants visited rock art sites in the Southern California desert and the Rio Grande area of Texas. The public was invited to view selected presentations that highlighted aspects of public engagement in rock art conservation.
In Southern California, the colloquium included tours of Little Lake Ranch, guided by Jo Anne Van Tilburg with John C. Bretney and Wendy All, who shared research published by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press (Van Tilburg et al. 2012), as well as the Painted Rock pictographs at Carrizo Plain National Monument. In Texas we toured Fate Bell Shelter in Seminole Canyon State Park, the stunning White Shaman mural overlooking the Pecos River, and other sites. Carolyn Boyd, founder of the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center, enhanced our experience with a riveting lecture about her research into the symbolism and story of the White Shaman panel.
The first Art on the Rocks colloquium was held in Kakadu National Park in Australia in 2015. It produced a foundational document that sets out the four pillars agreed upon to effectively inspire rock art site conservation (Agnew et al. 2015). The result is the Rock Art Network, a unique collaboration of participants and institutions with diverse backgrounds. It allows examination of rock art conservation issues from a variety of points of view, including those of conservationists, archaeologists, indigenous people, volunteer groups, and filmmakers, thus promoting rock art to the public and ultimately engendering increased rock art research and more lasting site protection. The second colloquium was held in 2017 in Namibia, where participants viewed conservation methods at the White Lady of Brandberg and Twyfelfontein sites (see Backdirt 2017). Participation in these and future events is one of the great pleasures of being a volunteer at the Rock Art Archive.
To read more about the Rock Art Network 2018 colloquium click here.
Figure 1: Shumla founder Carolyn Boyd and Aron Mazel in the White Shaman shelter.
Figure 2: White Shaman panel.
Figure 3: Getty Conservation Institute Art on the Rocks participants; staff and interns from the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center; and representatives from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Amistad National Recreation Area, and the Witte Museum of San Antonio (landowners of the White Shaman Preserve) enjoy the White Shaman mural overlooking the Pecos River.
Figure 4: Rock Art Network group viewing the petroglyphs at Little Lake.
Figure 5: Lucero Gutiérrez and Pilar Fatás in the Fate Bell Shelter in the Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site, Texas.
Figure 6: Wendy All (left) leading members of the Rock Art Network to petroglyphs at Little Lake.
Agnew, N., J. Deacon, N. Hall, T. Little, S. Sullivan, and P. S. C. Taçon. 2015. Rock Art: A Cultural Treasure at Risk. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute.
Van Tilburg, J. A., G. Hull, and J. C. Bretney. 2012. Rock Art at Little Lake: An Ancient Crossroads in the California Des- ert. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.