Rock Art of Southeast Asia and the World

An online course by SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA)

02 May - 24 June 2022

This special self-paced course organised by the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts brings you on a global survey of rock art around the world. You will learn about rock art from distinguished scholars and experts covering the regions of Southeast Asia, Greater Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, Australia and the Pacific - a virtual tour around the world!

The course will introduce participants to the variety of rock art traditions found throughout the world, and the importance of preserving, managing and conserving this unique heritage. This course is designed to be flexible and allows you to follow the video lectures, readings and quizzes at your own time. Certificates are given upon successful completion of the required assessments within the course duration.

Duration: Self-paced, about 4 hours/week
Course fee: THB 1,000 (approximately US$30)

Course Outline

The course is in English and the learning materials will be distributed via Google Classroom. You will need an email address, Internet access and the ability to use Google services to undertake this course. Every week, new lectures and course material will be uploaded on the Google Classroom platform. You are free to view and read them according to your schedule. Most lectures are under an hour long and accompanied by supplementary materials such as websites, videos and reading material. We estimate that you should set aside around 4 hours per week to cover the lectures and quizzes.

Along with each lecture, participants are expected to complete a quiz to assess their understanding of the week’s material. Because the course is designed to be asynchronous, the lectures and quizzes can be accessed at your own time. All participants will receive e-certificates, either a Certificate of Participation or Certificate of Completion. The Certificate of Completion is awarded to participants who complete every quiz with the minimum grade requirement before the end of the official course period (24 June 2022).

note: Minor changes to the programme are expected

Week 1 (2 May 2022) - Introduction

  • Same Same, but Different: Introducing the Rock Art of Southeast Asia and the World | Noel Hidalgo Tan

  • The Rock Art of the Cave of Altamira (Spain) | Pilar Fatás Monforte

  • Rock Art Recording: Why, What Who, When and How | Janette Deacon

Week 2 (9 May 2022) - Europe

  • Eurasian Paleolithic rock art from Altai to Portugal | Jean-Michel Geneste

  • The Paleolithic: A Northern-western European View | George Nash

  • Exploring the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Rock Art of Nurtumberland (Northern England) | Aron Mazel

  • Virtual Site Visit

Week 3 (16 May 2022) - Greater Asia

  • A Brief Introduction of Indian Rock Art | Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak

  • Multivariate Cultural Genesis - Rock-art of China and Yunnan | Wu Yun

  • Introduction to Thai Rock Art | Thippawan Wongadsapaiboon

  • Virtual Site Visit

Week 4 (23 May 2022) - The Americas, and East Timor

  • Fixed in Place: The Pictographs and Petroglyphs and Petroforms of Georgia | Jannie Loubser

  • Coso Iconography and Sacred Narrative from E. California and SW Great Basin | Alan Garfinkel

  • Rock Art in the Southern Andes, South America: The case of Quebrada de Humahuaca Argentina | Maria Isabel Hernandez Llosas

  • Rock Art of Timor-Leste | Sue O'Connor

Week 5 (30 May 2022) - Oceania

  • Oceanic Rock Art | Rachel Hoerman

  • Murujuga: Rock Art in Land and Sea Country, Australia | Jo McDonald

  • Maliwawa Figures - A Newly Announced Arnhem Land Rock Art Style | Paul Taçon

  • Philippine rock art: Digital Archaeology and new discoveries | Andrea Jalandoni

Week 6 (6 June 2022) - Africa, and Mainland Southeast Asia

  • Investigating Egyptian Rock Art | Salima Ikram

  • Rock Art of Mainland Southeast Asia | Noel Hidalgo Tan

  • Working with communities and managing visitors at rock art sites | Nicholas Hall

Week 7 ( 13 June 2022) - Indonesia and Malaysia

  • Brief Introduction to Indonesian Rock Art | Adhi Agus Oktaviana

  • Rock art in Peninsular Malaysia – with a focus on pictogram | Saw Chaw Yeh

  • Rock art site conservation and management: International practice and what you can do | Nicholas Hall and Sharon Sullivan

  • Virtual Site Visit


Adhi Agus Oktaviana

Adhi Agus Oktaviania is a prehistoric archaeologist and currently a PhD candidate at Griffith University, Australia. For the last decade, Adhi has been working in Indonesian archaeology, surveying a number of archaeological and rock art sites across Indonesia, including Gua Harimau in South Sumatra, and the Maros-Pangkeo Karst Caves in South Sulawesi. He has written and co-authored numerous papers on the prehistory of Indonesia.

Sam Challis

Sam Challis is Head and Senior Researcher at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand. His focus is on the interaction between hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and farmers, as well as Europeans, as expressed in rock art around the world.

His Doctor of Philosophy focused on the acquisition of horses by creolized raider groups in the nineteenth-century, and his research programme in the mountains of Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, aims to redress the imbalance of this neglected former-apartheid region while training local community Field Technicians.

Janette Deacon

Janette Deacon has a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cape Town. She has been involved for many years in locating, recording and protecting both rock paintings and rock engravings, and training rock art site managers and rock art tourist guides in southern Africa.

Meenakshi Dubey-Patak

Dr Meenakshi Dubey-Patak has devoted nearly thirty years of her life to the discovery, study, publications, exhibitions, workshops and protection of Indian rock art. During her many years of fieldwork, she discovered dozens of new painted sites, mostly in Madhya Pradesh (particularly in the Pachmarhi area about which she did her PhD, under the National Fellowship of UGC, NET). Madhya Pradesh is the richest state for the rock art sites in India, but also in the different states, such as Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Ladakh. She was awarded the high honour of ‘Chevalier des Arts et Lettres’ -Knight in the National Order of Arts and Letters- by the French Minister of Culture and Communication in 2014. She is an International Expert member for rock art with ICOMOS and UNESCO, and she is a member of the Bradshaw Foundation Advisory Board (England) and Rock Art Network, Getty Foundation (USA).

Jean-Michel Geneste

Jean-Michel Geneste is Archaeology Field Director and Research Co-ordinator at PACEA, CNRS Laboratory , Université de Bordeaux (France). He studied at university of Bordeaux where he defended a PhD in Neandertal tool technology. He managed France’s primary national rock art research institution, the Centre National de Préhistoire, directed the Chauvet Cave International Research Program and had been the curator of Lascaux. Jean-Michel has coordinated numerous large archaeological and multi-disciplinary research programs in France, Ukraine, South Africa, Australia and Canada. Very much interested and involved in the mediation of prehistory and rock art Jean-Michel Geneste has contributed to many scientific documentaries and films, through which he has developed a very specific approach to writings on subjects related to the origins of Modern Man's art and behaviours. He has recently published the first volume of the monography of the Chauvet cave for the Ministry of Culture.

Alan Garfinkel

Dr. Alan Garfinkel is a California and Great Basin anthropologist/archaeologist principally known for his work with the indigenous people of the Far West and for his studies of Native American rock art in California and the Great Basin. He is also recognized for his pioneering studies in the regional prehistory of eastern California, the far Southern Sierra Nevada, and southwestern Great Basin.

He holds active research interests in forager ecology, Native American consultation in cultural resource management contexts, rock art studies, and peopling of the Americas. He is considered one of the well-regarded authorities on the Coso Range Rock Art traditions and Coso Region prehistory in general. (cf. Bradshaw Foundation, American Rock Art Archive, Coso He received his Bachelor’s at CSU, Northridge, and his MA and Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Garfinkel is currently Principal Archaeologist for the Pacific Rim and Western United States for MGE. Dr. Garfinkel serves as director and founder of the California Rock Art Foundation ( Finally, Dr. Alan hosts his own digital show, a weekly podcast, on world rock art studies on the archaeology podcast network.

Nicholas Hall

Nicholas Hall has qualifications in archaeology, rock art conservation, and heritage interpretation. His areas of special interest and expertise include rock art management and conservation, cultural landscape management, planning in cross-cultural contexts for land and heritage management, and appropriate use of heritage in tourism development.

Nicholas has worked on heritage management at key heritage sites in Australia, including Uluru–Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks, and sits on the Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Heritage and Scientific Committee advising the park on cultural heritage management issues.

Internationally, he has helped establish World Heritage management programs in Vanuatu, conducted training for UNESCO in Indonesia, worked for the World Monuments Fund on Easter Island, and has provided advice on heritage and tourism management for the Angkor World Heritage Site in Cambodia. He is currently living in Aotearoa New Zealand working on heritage conservation and management programs for the New Zealand Government.

Maria Isabel Hernández Llosas

Dr Maria Isabel Hernández Llosas is a research archaeologist with CONICET (National Council of Scientific Research of Argentina) at the National University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Much of her research deals with the archaeology of high altitude arid environments in the Argentinan Andes. She also specializes in the study of rock art. Dr Hernández Llosas was a professor of archaeology in different Argentinean Universities at graduate and postgraduate levels. She is involved in several programs regarding aboriginal heritage revalorization and is concerned with the intersection of archaeology, community and identity in South America today. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre (Australian National University) and collaborated with the National Museum of Australia on a major exhibition on archaeology and environmental history of Southern Hemisphere Deserts. She was also a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles (U.S.A) and is part of the Rock Art Network (RAN).

Rachel Hoerman

Dr. Rachel Hoerman is an Oceanic rock art researcher, university lecturer, heritage policy advocate, and principal at a Native-owned cultural resources management firm in the Hawaiian Islands with 15 years of academic and private heritage sector experience throughout Oceania. She is a member of the Kaliʻuokapaʻakai Collective’s ʻAha Kuapapa (Steering Committee) and Bradshaw Foundation-Getty Conservation Institute Rock Art Network. Her advocacy and research interests include communities-based approaches to solving heritage problems and needs, supporting Native/Indigenous/local de and post-colonial heritage values and frameworks, and meaningful allyship, as well as the preservation and study of Oceanic rock art within storied biocultural landscapes, and communities-based technological approaches to digital/3-D heritage recordation.

Salima Ikram

Salima Ikram is Distinguished Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, and and is a Research Fellow at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. She has worked as an archaeologist in Egypt since 1986, as well as in Turkey and Sudan. She has co-directed the Predynastic Gallery project and the North Kharga Oasis Survey, and has directed the Animal Mummy Project, the North Kharga Oasis Darb Ain Amur Survey, which focuses on rock art, and the Amenmesse Mission of KV10 and KV63 in the Valley of the Kings. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Ikram has published extensively in both scholarly and popular venues (for adults and children) on diverse subject matters, ranging from traditional Egyptological subjects to zooarchaeological topics. Currently her research focuses on the changing climate of Egypt as reflected in the fauna, relying on evidence derived from pictorial, textual, archaezoological, and climatalogical evidence; rock art; changing food sources and eating habits; and funerary customs.

Andrea Jalandoni

Dr Andrea Jalandoni is a pioneering digital archaeologist specialising in rock art recording and enhancement using photogrammetry and other remote sensing techniques including lidar and unmanned aerial systems. She has almost 20 years of archaeological experience in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Micronesia working on some of the most famous World Heritage Sites like Kakadu National Park (NT, Australia), Niah Cave (Sarawak, Malaysia), and Nan Madol (Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia).

Johannes H. N. Loubser

Johannes (Jannie) Loubser, PhD and RPA, is the archaeologist and rock art specialist at Stratum Unlimited, LLC. In 1989 Johannes Loubser received a PhD in archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. In the same year he also received a post-graduate diploma in rock art conservation and management from the University of Canberra, Australia. Loubser is a Research Associate at the Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) at the University of the Witwatersrand and the LAMAR Research Institute in Georgia. He has worked on numerous archaeological and rock art projects in southern and eastern Africa, North and South America, Australia, and the islands of Hawaii and the Caribbean.

During his position as head of the Rock Art Department at the National Museum in South Africa, between 1987 and 1993, Loubser recorded over 200 painted rock shelters in the Caledon River valley. While in Australia in 1989, he gained considerable experience concerning rock art site conservation and management. Loubser has worked on graffiti removal and rock art condition assessment projects with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) in 1989 (Australia), 1991 (California), 1994 (Baja California), 1995 (Baja California), and 1996 (Baja California). Through the years Loubser has shared his experience in rock art conservation and management with archaeologists, rock art specialists, government agency personnel, and the general public, both in the field and at conferences and workshops in South Africa, Bolivia, France, Jamaica, Mexico, and across the United States of America. Loubser has thoroughly mapped, recorded, and sequenced 20 rock art sites on the Carrizo Plain for the Bureau of Land Management. In collaboration with archaeologists from the Forest Service and various volunteers, Loubser has also mapped, recorded, and sequenced 28 petroglyph sites in Georgia and the Carolinas.

Johannes Loubser is former co-chair of Society for American Archaeology Rock Art Interest Group, former Committee Member of Society for American Archaeology Excellence in Analysis Award, and former Vice-President of Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists. Special awards bestowed on Loubser include the Honorary Title of Distinguished Visitor from the town of Sucre in Bolivia and Merit Award for Archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Loubser is on the editorial team of Time & Mind.

Aron Mazel

Aron Mazel joined Newcastle University in 2002 after a 25-year career in archaeological research and heritage and museum management in South Africa. Aron has published on a range of topics, including the management and interpretation of tangible and intangible heritage; museum and archaeological histories; the construction of the San hunter-gatherer past in the Thukela basin (South Africa) based on 15 rock shelter excavations; and rock art in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg (South Africa) and Northumberland (UK).’

Jo McDonald

Professor Jo McDonald is Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management at the University of Western Australia. She has been recording rock art in Australia for almost 40 years. She completed an ARC Future Fellowship, comparing rock art in Australia’s Western Desert and the Great Basin of the USA. She holds the Rio Tinto Chair in Rock Art Studies, funded by RioTinto’s Commonwealth Conservation Agreement for the Dampier Archipelago. Her considerable body of rock art management practice includes regional management plans (e.g. Sydney Basin, Port Hedland, Dampier Archipelago) site specific ones (e.g. Whale Cave). She has been an expert witness in Native Title cases, where rock art has been deployed as part of the legal argument (De Rose Hill, Martu and Birriliburu). She has written National Heritage Listing and Outstanding Universal Values documents for Murujuga and contextualised rock art through excavation and direct-dating. The recent excavation she led at Serpents Glen (Karnatukul) pushed back occupation of Australia’s desert to 50,000 years ago, as well as demonstrating contemporaneous rock art production and occupation evidence in the last millennium. Working with visualisation specialists and spatial scientists she is exploring 3D visualisation, photogrammetry and laser scanning of rock art sites for research and management. She is the Chair of Australia ICOMOS’ National Scientific Committee on Rock Art.

Pilar Fatás Monforte

Pilar Fatás Monforte is Director of the National Museum and Research Center of Altamira (Spain) since 2016, where previously she was the deputy director for 16 years.

She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Management, Bachelor of Arts degrees in History of Art and in Sciences of Antiquity – Archaeology and Prehistory - from the University of Zaragoza, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the UNED University. 

As a researcher, in recent years she has coordinated the cultural and scientific cooperation project"Registration and National Inventory of the Archaeological Pre-ceramic Heritage and Rock Art of Paraguay", leading the research along with José Antonio Lasheras. And she is co-author of several articles on this subject.

She has directed and coordinated several courses and meetings on topics related to the management of the cultural heritage, management of sites in the UNESCO’s List of World Heritage and its field of research, the rock art of Paraguay. Her publications also deal with these issues.

George Nash

Dr George Nash is an associate professor at the Centro de Geociências da Universidade de Coimbra, Instituto Politécnico de Tomar in Portugal. Dr Nash is a specialist in Palaeolithic and Post-Palaeolithic rock art and has previously undertaken research in Brazil, Chile, Mongolia, Norway, Portugal and Wales. In Wales, Dr Nash discovered and dated the earliest rock art in North-Western Europe at Cathol Cave on the Gower Coast, South Wales. Currently, Dr Nash is involved in the UAE Origins Project, responsible for identifying and recording early prehistoric art along the Southern Route in the Arabian Peninsula.

Susan O'Connor

Sue O’Connor is a Distinguished Professor in the College of Asia Pacific at The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Her research focuses on the evidence for migration and colonisation within the Indo-Pacific region. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and has authored over 100 journal articles. Heritage issues have also been central to her research and she has written numerous articles and co-edited two books on cultural heritage in this region ‘Transcending the Culture–Nature Divide in Cultural Heritage: Views from the Asia–Pacific region, 2013, (co-edited with S. Brockwell and D. Byrne), Terra Australis 36. Canberra: ANU E Press and ‘Rethinking Cultural Resource Management in Southeast Asia: Preservation, Development, and Neglect,’ 2011, (co-edited with J.N. Miksic and G.Y. Goh), London: Anthem Press.

Saw Chaw Yeh

Saw Chaw Yeh is a PhD candidate from the Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia. She obtained Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Anthropology and Sociology from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 2015. In 2019, she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art in SOAS, London with distinction. Her research focuses on the patterning and ancestral link of rock art in Peninsular Malaysia, with a special focus in Kinta Valley, Perak. Her current project aims to document more rock art sites and to expand the rock art inventory of Peninsular Malaysia.

Sharon Sullivan

Professor Sharon Sullivan, AO, is a former executive director of the Australian Heritage Commission and a former member of the World Heritage Committee representing Australia. She has worked in heritage place management and land management for more than thirty years and has been deeply involved in the development of cultural heritage management approaches in Australia and internationally.

She has contributed to and published extensively on cultural heritage management in Australia, the US, China, Africa, and Cambodia for more than forty years. She has worked as a cultural heritage consultant for the Australian government, the World Bank, the World Monuments Fund, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the government of the People's Republic of China.

Professor Sullivan has been awarded an honorary doctorate from James Cook University and has been appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia and a life member of ICOMOS for her services in heritage conservation. She also is a recipient of the Rhys Jones Memorial Medal for Services to Archaeology.

Paul Taçon

Distinguished Professor Paul S.C. Taçon FAHA FSA is an archaeologist and anthropologist, past ARC Australian Laureate Fellow (2016-2021) and Chair in Rock Art Research at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. He also directs Griffith University’s Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit (PERAHU) and leads a research theme in the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research and Griffith’s Research Centre of Human Evolution. He has conducted archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork since 1980 and has over 90 months field experience in remote parts of Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, southern Africa, Thailand, the Philippines and the USA. Prof Taçon co-edited The Archaeology of Rock-art with Dr Christopher Chippindale and has published over 310 academic and popular papers on rock art, material culture, colour, cultural evolution and identity. In December 2016, Prof Taçon was awarded the top award at the annual Australian Archaeological Association conference, the Rhys Jones Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Archaeology. He also received the 2016 Griffith University Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award for Research Leadership.

Noel Hidalgo Tan

Noel Hidalgo Tan is the convener for the Rock Art of Southeast Asia and the World Course. His research interests are in the rock art of Southeast Asia, and is published widely on the subject, particularly on the rock art of Mainland Southeast Asia where he has documented sites in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. As the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA), he is responsible for the Southeast Asian Archaeology projects and other academic programmes run by the centre, such as the SPAFA Journal. Noel also runs an internet resource page on Southeast Asian Archaeology.

Thippawan Wongadsapaiboon

Thippawan Wongadsapaiboon graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University. She spent seven years as a researcher and archaeologist assistant with About Art Foundation and the 3rd regional office of fine arts, Ayutthaya before being an archeologist at the 8th regional office of Fine Arts, Khon Kaen in 2010. She is interested in ancient settlement patterns, E-san culture, and rock art. She started to be interested in rock art after discovering four new rock art sites in Chum Pae district, Khon Kaen province, in 2015. After that, she runs the projects to survey and research rock arts in the upper part of Northeastern Thailand until now. She has experience in the excavation of both prehistoric and historic sites such as Dong Lakorn ancient town, Sri Than ancient town, Wat Nakha Thewi, Muak Lek reservoir, and so on.

Wu Yun

Wu Yun is a research lecturer in Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, China. She has contributed to rock art research and conservation, rock painting activity and climate changes from Late Paleolithic to Neolithic age in Southwest China. Wu has been involved for many years in recording and protecting both rock paintings and rock engravings in Yunnan Province. She has conducted archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork for more than 10 years in Jinsha river and Lancang (Mekong) River area, where she has successfully directed High-precision U-series dating rock painting in this area. She has jointly participated in field work in Australia, Laos and Myanmar on rock painting sites and related archaeological sites in Southeast Asia.

Who this Course is For

This course is designed as an introduction-level course into rock art, focusing on rock art traditions from around the world with a particular attention to Southeast Asia. No prior knowledge is required for undertaking the course, and the content is delivered at an undergraduate/graduate level. Some parts of the course may be particularly useful for:

  1. Archaeologists, anthropologists, and cultural heritage practitioners interested in learning about rock art research from around the world and how they are studied, managed and protected

  2. Archaeology practitioners and students in Southeast Asia

Important: You will need a valid email address, internet access, and the ability to use Google services to undertake this course. The course content will be delivered over Google Classroom, and the primary form of communication will be via email.



This course is run by the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts in Bangkok, Thailand. For specific questions about the programme, please contact Dr. Noel Hidalgo Tan at