Aesthetics and Rock Art II Symposium

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AURA 2000

TRACCE no. 12 – by Thomas Heyd, John Clegg

Third AURA Congress. Millennium: a fresh start.
Hosted by the Australian Rock Art Research Association
in Alice Springs, 10 – 14 July 2000.

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Third Aura Congress


Call for papers Versión en castellano

Convened and coordinated by Thomas Heyd, Department of Philosophy, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 3P4, Canada; Facsimile 250 – 721 7511 and John Clegg, Archaeology A14, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Symposium rationale

Very significant progress has been made in recent years in the cultural and scientific understanding of rock art with regard to

  1. Appreciation of the civilisations and cultures of its makers and users, and
  2. Formal archaeology’s understanding of materials, dating techniques, and so on. In the meantime almost nothing has been said about rock art from the point of view of aesthetics.

Given the outstanding cultural importance of rock art, and as a reminder of the presence of autochthonous peoples in the land, it is imperative that serious thought be given to the sort of appreciation to which rock art lends itself.

This symposium will be an opportunity for theoretically well-founded and empirically supported, interdisciplinary exploration of the aesthetic values represented in rock art. Insofar as it will be a follow-up on the Aesthetics and Rock Art Symposium held at IRAC 1998 in Vila Real, we expect to be building on the papers presented there. (For an example of the approach proposed see Thomas Heyd, “Rock Art Aesthetics: Trace on Rock, Mark of Spirit, Window on Land,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism- Fall 1999).

Papers addressing the aesthetics of rock art are welcome. In particular we seek papers that seek to clarify

  • the source of the aesthetic appeal of rock art;
  • the problem of cross-cultural and cross-temporal aesthetic appreciation;
  • the history of rock art aesthetics;
  • the achievements of those who made and those who used rock art.

Please provide the title of your paper and a 100 – 150 word abstract to one of the coordinators as soon as possible (deadline: May 1, 2000).

Further information on the Congress is available at


Information in Spanish is available at, English and Spanish versions of this Call, and updates on the Symposium, are available.


Thomas Heyd, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy University of Victoria
P.O. Box 3045, Stn. CSC Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 3P4, Canada
Telephone 250 – 381 2239 Facsimile 250 – 721 751


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