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Rock Art of Namibia

11 May 2017
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Getty Conservation Institute Namibia Rock Art Africa



Neville Agnew, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, organised an international colloquium on rock art, held in Namibia from 21 April to 1 May, 2017, to explore a spectrum of ways whereby rock art can be raised to a higher level of public awareness in the public and political domain with potential bearing on its preservation, promotion, and uses.

Namibia rock art Neville Agnew Getty archaeology petroglyphs Africa

Neville Agnew, Getty Conservation Institute, leads the group of rock art experts from 5 continents to the World Heritage Site of /Ui- //aes, also known as Twyfelfontein.

The colloquium was based on previous work encapsulated in the publication 'Rock Art: A cultural treasure at risk: How we can protect the valuable and vulnerable heritage of rock art', by Neville Agnew, Janette Deacon, Nicholas Hall, Terry Little, Sharon Sullivan and Paul Taçon.

Namibia rock art Neville Agnew Getty archaeology petroglyphs Africa

Studying a painted rock art panel in the Brandberg.

It was published in 2015 by the Getty Conservation Institute, and is available for free download on their website:

Rock Art: A cultural treasure at risk: click here

Namibia rock art Getty archaeology petroglyphs Africa White Lady

The invited participants were asked to present ideas on HOW to address proposals for implementing the following four pillars for rock art conservation and protection identified in Rock Art: A cultural treasure at risk: 
       I. Public and political awareness
       II.  Effective management systems
       III. Physical and cultural conservation practice 
       IV. Community involvement and benefits

Namibia rock art White Lady Brandberg Getty archaeology petroglyphs Africa

The White Lady of Brandberg.
In order to ensure sharp focus, the strategy was to reach outward, beyond professional rock art researchers and conservation specialists, by seeking input from creative thinkers who use rock art in a variety of ways, such as communicating its values to the public through film, deriving artistic inspiration from it, management by traditional owners, and sustainable tourism.

Namibia rock art Himba archaeology petroglyphs Africa 

The Himba of Namibia.

The colloquium took place near rock art sites in the Brandberg and the World Heritage Site of /Ui- //aes, also known as Twyfelfontein, with introductory and wrap-up sessions in the Namibian capital city of Windhoek. 

Namibia rock art Twyfeltonein archaeology petroglyphs Africa

A petroglyph panel at the World Heritage Site of /Ui- //aes, also known as Twyfelfontein.

As a direct result of this stimulating meeting, the forthcoming section The Rock Art of Namibia on the Bradshaw Foundation website will present the paintings and petroglyphs of Namibia.  

Researchers who attended:
Dr Neville Agnew - Senior Principal Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles.
Wendy All, a volunteer at the UCLA Rock Art Archive, representing the volunteers of the UCLA Rock Art Archive, directed by Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg.
Dr Janette Deacon, co-ordinator  of the Southern African Rock Art Project, a programme of the Getty Conservation Institute, and Honorary Research Associate of the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Benjamin Dickins, Art & Design Director of the Bradshaw Foundation.
Dr Pilar Fatás Monforte, Director of the National Museum and Research Centre at Altamira, Spain.
Nicholas Hall, Director of Stepwise Heritage and Tourism Pty. Ltd., Canberra, Australia. 
Prof Knut Helskog, Department of Cultural Sciences at the University of Tromsø, Norway. 
Dr Maria Isabel Hernandez Llosas, archaeologist, rock art and heritage researcher at CONICET, Institute of Archaeology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
Dr Rachel Hoerman, Archaeologist, International Archaeological Research Institute, Inc., Hawaii Lecturer, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Tanya Koeneman, from the Sydney Aboriginal community of La Perouse and Indigenous Specialist Policy Officer, Aboriginal Community Land and Infrastructure Project (ACLIP), Sydney, Australia.
Dr Richard Kuba, Director of the Frobenius Institute at the Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.
Terry Little, Chief Operating Officer specializing in the fields of cultural heritage and intercultural education at the Trust for African Rock Art , Nairobi, Kenya.
Martin Marquet, independent film producer and publicist, Los Angeles. In addition to his own paper, he gave a presentation by Dr Jean-Michel Geneste, and represented Patricia Marquet Geneste, both of whom were unable to attend.
Tom McClintock, Rock art conservationist and researcher, University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr Catherine Namono, Ugandan rock art specialist, Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Dr Gerard O'Regan - James Henare Maori Research Centre, University of Auckland; Ngai Tahu tribe, New Zealand.
Dr Ffion Reynolds, Honorary Research Fellow, Cardiff University, Heritage & Arts Manager, Cadw, Wales, and visiting lecturer at the University of Namibia, attended on behalf of Goodman Gwasira, Lecturer in History and Archaeology at the University of Namibia.
Peter Robinson, Editor of the Bradshaw Foundation.
Sharon Sullivan, former Executive Director of the Australian Heritage Commission.
Prof Paul Taçon, Chair in Rock Art Research Griffith University, Australian Laureate Fellow, Queensland.
Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan, Senior Specialist in Archaeology at the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Art (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Dr Peter Veth, Professor of Archaeology and Kimberley Rock Art within the Centre for Rock Art and Management at the University of Western Australia, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney.
Dr Lori Wong, Conservator and Associate Project Specialist, Field Projects Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles.

Discover more about the world of rock art: click here


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