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Rock Art Research Association of China






2012年国岩联大会实录/IFRAO 2012 Bolivia Reflections  

2012-10-29 10:27:34|  分类: 国岩联大会/IFRA |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Editor’s note: In the last 20 years, international meetings in South America have contributed to the scientific study of rock art and the collaboration between scholars world-wide. Hosted by the Bolivian Rock Art Research Society, the XVI International Congress of IFRAO was held in La Paz, Bolivia from 25 to 29 June, 2012, with the congress theme “Archaeology and Rock Art” designed to analyze the relation between archaeological investigations and rock art studies; the relation between archaeologists and rock art specialists; the way rock art sites may be integrated into a regional archaeological framework; regional chronologies including rock art traditions; the policies of surveying, recording, and preserving sites; etc. In keeping with the international agenda established over the past years, 15 sessions consisted of the 2012 IFRAO Congress. On the sidelines of the congress, the Business Meeting of IFRAO convened, with focus on the host place of annual conference of IFRAO within the next 5 years. China was taken into IFRAO’s account to hold the 2014 IFRAO Congress.



IFRAO 2012

Bolivia Reflections

By Peggy Whitehead and Mavis Greer


LA PAZ, a city of contrasts and the home of SIARB (Sociedad de Investigacion del Arte Rupestre de Bolivia), was host to the IFRAO 2012 Congress from June 25-29. Deplaning, the 14,000-foot altitude leaves you without breath, and as your taxi drive descends the steep-sided funnel into the city, you see tightly packed buildings. Drawing closer to the city, noises greet you with people hanging out from the sides of bus vans calling out their routes, and sidewalk vendors telling what they are selling. The vendors are mostly indigenous women in their Native dress wearing the distinctive hats that denote their villages and carrying colorful bundles on their backs.


The Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore was the headquarters for the meeting organized by Matthias Strecker, Freddy Taboada, Claudia Rivera, and Pilar Lima, with assistance from Carlos Kaifler, Clovis Cardenas, Rosario Saavedra, and Lilo Methfessel. They were able to bring together more than 200 researchers from all over the world in spite of many obstacles, including an airline going bankrupt and the 12,000-foot altitude.


We registered for the Congress at the museum and had time to greet old friends we had not seen since the last meeting in Ariege, France, before being taken by bus to two museums in Miraflores for the opening of special exhibits on the Protocol for the Interdisciplinary Study of Pictographs. These exhibits consisted of multiple posters showing ongoing projects on sites in Brazil, Argentina, France, and Peru. Workshops on DStretch (by Jon Harman) and on photographic image enhancement with Photoshop and DStretch (by Robert Mark) were both given at the beginning and end of the meeting.


The opening evening events started with welcoming speeches by the Secretary of the Banco Central de Bolivia (a sponsor of the Congress) and other dignitaries, followed by opening lectures on Bolivian rock art and archaeology. Long-time researchers Dr. Juan Schobinger of Argentina (the Congress was dedicated in his memory), Dr. Jean Clottes of France, Dr. Niede Guidon of France and Brazil, Prof. Louis Briones of Chile, and Jane Kolber of the USA were honored for their commitment to recording and researching rock art. Information on these honorees was presented in the Conference Program. Dr. Clottes presented an evening lecture on Cosquer Cave, a site which is always of interest to international rock art groups.


Field trips were offered before and after the Congress to many wonderful archaeological sites. There were no field trips during the conference, and trips were all at an expense separate from registration. Most pre- and post-conference trips were multi-day, and they were scattered throughout the country. Among the trip locations were Lake Titicaca, Sucre, Tarija, and a day trip to the reconstructed Tiwanaku ruins.


The official languages of the Congress were Spanish and English, with papers given in either language. There were 15 formal sessions that covered everything from conservation to the latest dating methods and recording technology. The four concurrent sessions allowed one to select topics that interested you. The focus of many of the sessions was on South America, and we heard about research in the Caribbean, Chile, Peru, and Argentina, from researchers who we often do not have the opportunity to hear.


The meeting of IFRAO representatives was held during the Congress, but only a small number were present, and even with proxies, a voting quorum was not met. Reports were presented by the officers on activities of the organization in the past year, and it was announced that two organizations had newly joined IFRAO: Isturitz et Oxocelhaya, Patrimoines, Cultures et Prehistoire of France and Horn Heritage of Somalia. There was discussion about upcoming IFRAO meetings and the frequency of those meetings. At this time IFRAO 2013 is scheduled for Albuquerque, New Mexico. Consideration is being given to meet in China in 2014, Spain in 2015, and Australia in 2016.


The Congress closed with an appropriate ceremony. After a thank you by Matthias Strecker, Jean Clottes passed the IFRAO Presidency to Freddy Taboada of Bolivia. The evening ended with a great musical program by local entertainers.

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