Rock Art on the Water Congress 6.-9.6.2022 Laukaa & Mikkeli-Finland

Rock Art on the Water
- rock art sites by the seas, lakes and rivers

International Congress 6-9 June, 2022, taking place in two separate cities, Laukaa and Mikkeli, Finland

Finland is hosting the international Rock Art Congress for the first time, and it is sponsored by the Prehistoric Rock Art Trails organization, Mikkeli Development Miksei Ltd and City of Laukaa. 

There will be a visit to the Saraakallio rock art site on June 7th for the international participants, organized by the city of Laukaa. The event continues in Mikkeli on June 8th with a visit to the Astuvansalmi rock art site. Both of these sites are on the water, hence the visits will be by boats.

The event culminates on June 9th to the Rock Art on the Water Congress in Mikkeli, at the Muisti Centre of War and Peace. 

Themes of the congress are the European rock art sites along water, their possibilities and future challenges, as well as academic research into rock art. More details below in the program.

The congress is free and open to everyone with an interest into rock art. The lectures will be held mostly in English and Spanish with online translation to select languages available. In order to access the translation, please make sure to bring your mobile phone and a compatible set of headphones.

The congress will also be streamed online. The link will be sent by email a day prior to everyone who has registered for the streaming by 30.5.2022. 

See you there!

Welcome to the international rock art congress "Rock Art on the Water" in Mikkeli on June 9, 2022. Free and open entry to all with interest in rock art. 

Rock art on the Water -seminar

June 9, 2022 • Mikkeli, Finland
Auditorium - Muisti Center of War and Peace


9:30 Coffee and refreshments

10:00 Words of welcome and introductions
Tarja Pönniö-Kanerva – Project Manager, GeoNaCu Saimaa -project
Pirjo Siiskonen – President of the municipal council of Mikkeli, Finland

10:20 Saimaa Geopark, a unique area of geological, ecological and historic interest
TBA – Saimaa Geopark, Finland

10.30 PRAT-CARP, Prehistoric Rock Art Trails, a network of cultural and tourism destinations around European rock art sites
Ph.D. Ramón Montes – Technical coordinator of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe Prehistoric Rock Art Trails

11.00 Short intermission

11.15 Coasts, Rivers and Lakes. The public presentation of open-air rock art sites in Europe: theoretical models, practical solutions and future challenges.
Ph.D. José Manuel Rey-Garcia – Director of Pontevedra Museum, Galicia, Spain. Head of the Scientific Committee of Prehistoric Rock Art Trails Cultural Route.

11:45 Sailing the river in the Côa Valley Archaelogical Park. Prehistoric rock art and fluvial landscapes in the North of Portugal.
Ph.D. Aida Carvalho – President of Côa Valley Foundation, Portugal. Vice-chairperson of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe Prehistoric Rock Art Trails

12:15 Lunch

13:15 Prehistoric sites of the Vézère Valley. Prehistory and Tourism along the rivers of Périgord region (Dordogne, France)
Valérie Coustillas – Office Manager, Regional Council of Dordogne-Périgord, France

13:45 The Elk Motif in the Stone Age Rock Art of Northern Europe
Ville Mantere - Doctoral Candidate, Department of Archaeology, University of Turku, Finland

14:15 Short intermission

14:45 Acoustics and auditory culture at hunter-gatherer rock art sites in Northern Europe, Siberia and North America
Riitta Rainio – Academy Research Fellow, University of Helsinki, Finland

15:15 Rock paintings in Finland and reflections on Sámi cosmology from the seventeenth century
Francis Joy, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Lapland, Finland

15:45 Reflections of Rock Art on Water
Pellervo Kokkonen, Senior Advisor, Savonlinna Development Services Ltd., Finland

Program ends approximately at 16:15

* The organizer reserves right to changes in the program without prior notice.

Aida Maria Oliveira Carvalho

PhD in Cultural Sciences. Master in Population History. Postgraduate in Tourism and Religious Heritage and postgraduate in Cultural Management. Degree in European Studies.

President of the Board of Directors of the Côa Parque Foundation since 2021.

Member of the National Council for Science and Innovation.

Member of the Strategic Tourism Council of Porto and Northern Portugal.

Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança since September 2001.

Coordinator of the Department of Arts and Humanities, between 2012 and 2021

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Master in Tourism Marketing.

Researcher at the Center for Research, Development, and Innovation in Tourism (CITUR).

Guide of the Côa Valley, between 1996 and 2001.

She has published several articles in specialized scientific journals in ​​heritage enhancement and cultural tourism. She was distinguished in the “Culture and Heritage” session, for her Best Paper, at the X Postgraduate Conference ESGHT-ISCAL 2019.

Valérie Coustillas

Born in Périgueux in november 26th 1969

Graduate in letters and languages and Tourism.

Has worked between 1992 and 1996 at Régie départementale du Tourisme – Puyguilhem Castle – Villars (Dordogne)

Has worked 1996 and 2012 at Conseil départemental de la Dordogne – Service départemental du Tourisme

Is working since 2012 at Conseil départemental de la Dordogne – Service des Politiques Territoriales et Européennes, as head of Office of foreign and european policies (decentralised cooperation and international solidarity…)

In charge with technic coordination of PRAT-CARP European Cultural Route, for France, since 2017 and secretary for CARP’s Président M. Germinal PEIRO.

Jose Manuel Rey Garcia

Degree in Archaeology from the University of Santiago de Compostela and Ph.D. in History, History of Art & Territory from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), the author is a specialist in cultural heritage management and prehistoric rock art.

Archaeologist at the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage of Galicia (regional Government of Galicia, Spain) from 1994, he has coordinated many projects for the conservation and presentation to the public of archaeological heritage, mainly open-air rock art. In this sense, he actively took part in the creation of the Rock Art Archaeological Park of Campo Lameiro, which he directed from its inauguration in July 2011 until April 2019, when he became director of Pontevedra Museum.

His field of research focused on Galicia's Recent Prehistory, managing archaeological excavations in megalithic burial mounds and sites belonging to the Later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. In addition, he has focused his interest on the dissemination and public presentation of open-air rock art on the European continent, which is the subject of his doctoral thesis.

He has written books and many papers in different scientific journals and proceedings of scientific meetings related to his research interest.

Currently he also teaches cultural heritage management and prehistoric rock art at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED).  Furthermore, the author is a member of the National Scientific Committee on Rock Art of ICOMOS-Spain and the Scientific Committee of Prehistoric Rock Art Trails Cultural Route.

Francis Joy

Originally from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, Francis had been a scholar engaged in the field of research into Sámi cosmology, beliefs and practices since 2005; having a number of publications on these subject matters, which can be found in his doctoral dissertation Sámi Shamanism, Cosmology and Art as Systems of Embedded Knowledge, published in 2018. (Available online)

Currently, Francis works as a post-doctoral researcher and member of the Arctic Anthropology research team at the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland.

During the seminar in Mikkeli, the aims of the presentation will be to inform the participants of more recent developments regarding correspondences figures and symbolism discovered among prehistoric rock paintings in Finland and figures and symbolism within Sámi cosmology from the seventeenth century, which are illustrated in sacred Sámi divination drums that once belonged to noaiddit, the religious specialist in Sámi culture. The majority of these drums were collected by missionaries and priests from Swedish Sápmi, the homeland areas of the Sámi people.

Theories concerning these correlations were first identified in scholarly research in Finland as early as the 1970s by scholars such as Ville Luho, and then later in the 1990s by Milton Nunez, Eero Autio and more recently Antti Lahelma.

The aims of Joy’s presentation are to further elaborate on new findings in terms of relationships between different groups of phenomena and theories concerning these and what they are and how they are important concerning possible links with Sámi history.

Ville Mantere

Ville Mantere is a doctoral candidate in Archaeology at the University of Turku and he also holds a master’s degree in the Study of Religions from the Åbo Akademi University. Mantere is specialized in the study of prehistoric religion and art, as well as human-animal relations in northern hunter-gatherer societies. His PhD dissertation “The relationship between humans and elks in Northern Europe c. 12 000 – 1200 calBC” is currently in the pre-examination process and it will preliminary be published later this year. Mantere has studied hunter-gatherer rock art for several years and he has personally visited a large number of the rock art sites found in Northern Europe.

Ramón Montes-Barquín

Doctor on Archaeology and Prehistory by University of Cantabria (Spain). Researcher on material culture of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic and Palaeolithic Rock Art of the Iberian Peninsula. Scientific collaborator of the Museum and Research Centre of Altamira, where he has developed different archaeological works in Upper Palaeolithic sites and Rock Art sites. He has written ten books and more than 200 papers in different scientific journals and proceedings of scientific meetings.

Cultural Manager specialized in Archaeological Tourism. He has directed a large number of projects of presentation to the public Archaeological sites and museums and interpretation centres focused in Rock Art. Currently, he is running two important research projects (Covalejos and Cudon caves, Cantabrian Region) and is the Cultural projects technician of the Cantabrian Network of Rural Development, from he works in the technical coordination of the network of Rock Art sites that make up the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe “Prehistoric Rock Art Trails”.

Riitta Rainio

Riitta Rainio on ääniarkeologiaan ja arkeoakustiikkaan erikoistunut tutkija Helsingin yliopistossa. Vuosina 2018–2023 hän toimii vastuullisena tutkijana Suomen Akatemian rahoittamassa projektissa “Akustiikka ja äänellinen kulttuuri esihistoriallisen ja historiallisen ajan pyhillä paikoilla Pohjois-Euroopassa, Siperiassa ja Pohjois-Amerikassa”.