Rock Art | Tracing Patterns and Meaning

Hear all about rock art research and education in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas as well as South Africa.

Did you know the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas and northern Mexico are home to one of the most sophisticated and intricate rock art traditions in the world—the Pecos River style? This imagery is characterized by finely painted, multi-colored figures woven together to form mythic narratives.  

Meanwhile, the hunter-gatherer rock art of southern Africa is one of the most detailed, finely painted and beautiful rock art traditions in the world. Thanks to research combining insights from Bushman ethnographies with detailed study of the rock art it is also one of the best understood traditions of rock art. It forms part of a complex set of beliefs and practices of hunter-gatherers over the past few millennia.

Join us as Dr. Carolyn Boyd and Dr. David Pearce discuss how patterns in these ancient masterpieces reveal the secrets of how they were produced and what they mean.
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Dr. Carolyn E. Boyd received her PhD from Texas A&M University in 1998, the same year she founded Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center. She now serves as the Shumla Endowed Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University and is a member of the Shumla Board of Directors. She is the author of Rock Art of the Lower Pecos, published in 2003 by Texas A&M University Press and The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative, published by the University of Texas Press and winner of the 2017 Society for American Archaeology Scholarly Book Award.

Dr. David Pearce is Associate Professor and Director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His main research interests include cognitive archaeology, specializing in southern African hunter-gatherers, as well as developing techniques to accurately date rock paintings. He is the coauthor with David Lewis-Williams of San Spirituality: Roots, Expressions and Social Consquences published in 2004 by Double Story and Inside the Neolithic Mind published in 2005 by Thames and Hudson.