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3 February 2004
Symposium on the rock carvings of North and West Europe

The British Academy (10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1, England), in conjunction with the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters History and Antiquities, is hosting a two-day symposium on the Rock Carvings of North and West Europe: Documentation, Investigation and Presentation. The symposium will take place at the British Academy on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 April 2004.
     This symposium will concentrate on three areas, which have rarely merited any serious debate:
     • Documentation a variety of methods are being used to record the presence and character of the images upon a variety of surfaces. These methods include photography, oblique lighting, chalking and rubbing. The importance of the process of documentation to the investigation will be discussed.
     • Investigation very few rock carving sites have been examined by archaeological methods to ascertain the character of ancient activities. The few sites where archaeological investigations have been carried out properly have shown that structural and other cultural evidence has sometimes survived and this can illuminate our knowledge and understanding. In addition, sites and their landscape contexts are important to examine. The potential benefits and constraints of such investigations will be explored.
     • Presentation the growth of the tourist industry in North Western Europe has impelled the delivery of suitable sites with rock carvings to an increasingly interested public. The World Heritage designation of the northern Bohuslan rock carving area has brought some 100 000 visitors to the region each year who spend some time gazing at the major sites. Presentational attitudes and demands are now of a different scale and intensity from those of 25 years ago. Access, information and visibility of carvings continue to concern those with responsibility for protection as well as public demand. An assessment of the different solutions that have been tried will be pursued.
     Speakers will be drawn from Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark and Britain. All those interested are welcome to attend, but because of limited space it is essential to register in advance. Those wishing to register should do so using the online booking form. The fee of 30 (or 20 at the concessionary rate, available to students and those over 60) includes all refreshments served during the conference. For information: British Academy Events webpage

Source: The British Academy (3 February 2004)

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