TARA’s Chairman David Coulson attended an International Congress on African Rock Art in Paris on 15-17 January 2014. This took place at the world famous Quai Branly Museum on the river Seine in Paris, France.
Organised by the Sorbonne University and sponsored by Total in collaboration with UNESCO, this event was attended by rock art specialists and researchers from a number of different countries including Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Kenya, Somaliland, Namibia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Angola and Zimbabwe.
In his opening address at the start of the proceedings Laurent de Soultrait of the Total Foundation pointed out that it was as a result of his many conversations with TARA ‘s David Coulson over the last 3 years that he had come to recognise the huge diversity and importance of African rock art which is why Total had decided to sponsor this event. Coulson was a member of the Committee of Honour for the Congress which was attended by some 200 people.
During a total of 6 sessions the different speakers focused on a variety of different topics and geographical areas such as the dating of rock art, the interpretation of specific rock art images and sites, different recording techniques, the rock art of Tunisia and new discoveries such as the Cave of Beasts in Egypt’s Western Desert. In session 6 David Coulson gave a keynote presentation on the World Heritage rock art sites of Africa and their future, focusing on the critical importance of engaging local communities in their management and preservation.