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UISPP 2023

Session 18-1
Prehistoric art studies in North Africa and Sahara at the beginning of the 21st Century. Contributions from Interdisciplinary Research Approaches

Key Words
Rock art ; Mobiliary art ; Personal adornments ; North Africa ; Sahara ; Final Pleistocene ; Holocene ; Interdisciplinary approaches

Prehistoric art (mobiliary, parietal, personal adornments) in North Africa and the Sahara, from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, is a fundamental field of research as it has the potential to reveal the symbolic and intellectual component of prehistoric groups, which are indispensable to a comprehensive reconstruction of the lifestyle of ancient societies. The developments in field research that have facilitated major advancements in the study of economics, environmental and chronological reconstructions have also proven to be of great value to investigations involving prehistoric art. Indeed, the study and analysis of this class of archaeological evidence can also benefit greatly from the application of innovative interdisciplinary approaches. In this sense, scholars are proceeding on a dual path. On the one hand, we can assist with an increasingly careful analysis of the artistic production, which allows identification of representations of elements connected with the real world (tools, dwellings, landscape elements), socio-economic activities (hunting, fishing, gathering, herding, feasting, conflicts), and elements related to the symbolic activities, as known from the excavations. On the other hand, technological approaches aimed at better analysing manufacturing techniques and pigment components, together with more advanced dating techniques, new tracing and documenting methods (e.g., photogrammetry and laser scanning), and development of tools for image enhancement, enrich the available documentation, and open new perspectives for prehistoric art interpretation.

The main goal of this session is to encourage dialogue and exchange among scholars involved in prehistoric art research in the regions from Mediterranean and Atlantic Africa, the Sahara, the Nile Valley, and the Red Sea coast, from the Final Pleistocene to Holocene. We particularly welcome the participation of colleagues working on technology, landscape-rock art sites nexus (i.e., the relationship human groups-landscape-artistic production), systematic reviews or newly discovered sites characterised by the presence of art productions.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15th May 2023

List of sessions

Main Organiser
Barbara E. Barich

Lotfi Belhouchet
Christian Dupuy
Giulio Lucarini
Dario Sigari