Dr Jamie Hampson
Marie Curie Research Fellow (Experienced Researcher)

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Profile

Biography

Jamie Hampson specialises in rock art, indigenous studies and heritage. He works in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and India.

Entitled Rock art, Indigenous heritage, and cultural identity, Jamie’s Marie Curie fellowship is co-hosted by Stanford University (Professor Lynn Meskell) and the University of York (Dr Sara Perry). Jamie is currently on leave from his position as a Lecturer at the University of Western Australia in Perth. He has also taught at the University of Cambridge, where he co-founded the British Rock Art Group and the North American Archaeological Research Group.

In addition to the Marie Curie fellowship, Jamie has received grants from Clare College (Cambridge), the Kirk-Greene Africa fund, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK).

Jamie received his doctorate and M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge and his undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford.

Other projects that Jamie has worked on include rock art regionalism; the origins of art; the management and presentation of rock art sites to the public; and the commodification of archaeological heritage.

Jamie’s latest book – published by Left Coast Press in 2015 – is entitled Rock Art and Regional Identity: a Comparative Perspective.



Publications

Selected publications

1. Hampson, J. 2015. Rock art and regional identity: a comparative perspective. London: Routledge.

“Jamie Hampson has produced a landmark study of Trans-Pecos rock art that moves the field significantly further forward and will prove a key resource in North American – and global – rock art studies. Using a wide range of evidence, he convincingly shows how the art can most profitably be understood from an ‘insider’ perspective grounded in the ethnography of relevant Native American groups and informed more broadly by parallel studies elsewhere in the world, notably southern Africa. Elegantly and accessibly written, it deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone with interests in rock art or the North American past.” – Professor Peter Mitchell, University of Oxford.

2. Hampson, J. 2016. Embodied identity and ideology in the rock art of Trans-Pecos Texas. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 26(1).

 By exploring the related concepts of embodiment, somatic transformation and process within non-Western ontologies, I offer a unified but multi-component explanation for the meanings and motivations behind several Trans-Pecos rock-art motifs. I also address the consumption of rock art in west Texas—how it was viewed and used by the original artists and subsequent viewers to shape, maintain and challenge ideologies and identities.

3. Hampson, J. 2015. Presenting rock art and perceiving identity in South Africa and beyond. Time & Mind: the Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture 8(4): 373–391.

 This paper addresses the presentation of rock art to the public, and perceptions of indigenous identity, by focusing on two rural South African rock art visitor centres. Both visitor centres were designed in the early 2000s to provide tangible benefits to people in rural areas and also to present rock art in a challenging and exciting new way – one that would dovetail with the central tenets of the ‘new South Africa’. Fifteen years on, this paper considers the extent to which the visitor centres have succeeded.

4. Hampson, J. 2014. Conflict on the frontier: San rock art, spirituality, and historical narrative in the Free State Province, South Africa. In: D. Gillette, W. B. Murray, M. Greer & M. Hayward (eds), Rock art and sacred landscapes: 103–115. New York: Springer.

This paper shows that there is more to southern African rock art sites than simple ‘narrative’. It also analyses the contemporary socio-political issues that can and do emerge from and attach themselves to rock art sites and motifs.

5. Hampson, J. 2013. The materiality of rock art and quartz: a case study from Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 23(3): 363–372.

This paper interrogates the relationships between hunter-gatherer beliefs, materiality, and rock paintings. It is significant because it situates art in specific places in the landscape, marrying theory with concrete examples.

6. Hampson, J. 2013. Rock art heritage and the (re)negotiation of post-colonial identities. In: Bowe, M., Carpeneti, B., Dull, I. & J. Lipkowitz (eds), Making Stories: Heritage Studies at the University of Cambridge: 141–170. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monograph Series.

This chapter makes clear that rock art tourism and the presentation of rock art images facilitates the negotiation of socio-cultural identity and challenges negative perceptions of indigenous groups.

7. Hampson, J. 2013. Trans-Pecos Texas: approaching rock art in understudied regions. Time and Mind: the Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture 6(1): 89–96.

Focusing on interstitial regions, I demonstrate that dominant paradigms of separating rock art regions according to aesthetics are unsatisfactory. I show that utilising theory from cognitive archaeology is more fruitful.

8. Hampson, J. 2012. Rock art research: broad themes in the 77th Annual Meeting of the SAA. La Pintura 38(3): 7–17.

In this paper, I clarify themes at the forefront of research worldwide, including identity, IP rights and indigenous ownership of rock art sites. Above all, I demonstrate the relevance of rock art to people today.

9. Hampson, J. 2010. Rock art regionalism, identity, and heritage: case studies from the Texas Trans-Pecos and Mpumalanga, South Africa. La Pintura 36(3): 4–9.

This paper outlines relationships between politics and cultural heritage, including successful instances of job creation in previously marginalised areas. It also contributes to the development of theory on archaeology regionalism.

10. Taçon, P., Boivin, N., Hampson, J., Blinkhorn, J., Korisettar, R. & Petraglia, M. 2010. Continuity, change and cultural connections to painted rock art of the Kurnool area, one of south India’s little known rock art provinces. Antiquity 84: 335–350.

Focusing on newly-discovered sites in Andhra Pradesh (another understudied region), we show there are important (but overlooked) socio-ideological aspects to rock art in addition to spatial and chronological relationships.

11. Boivin, N., Hampson, J., Blinkhorn, J., Korisettar, R. & Petraglia, M. 2009. Re-examining rock art studies in India: a case study from Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh. In: K. Paddayya, P. P. Joglekar, K. K. Basa & R. Sewant (eds.), Recent research trends in South Asian archaeology: 261–278. Pune, India: Deccan College.

This chapter synthesises work from several field seasons, providing springboards from which further work was undertaken. Our research develops crucial aspects of archaeological and anthropological theory, spanning several chronological eras.

12. Hampson, J., Challis, W., Blundell, G. & de Rosner, C. 2002. The rock art of Bongani Mountain Lodge and its environs, Mpumalanga: an introduction to problems of southern African rock art regions. South African Archaeological Bulletin 57: 15–30.

For the first time, this paper studies the rock art of Mpumalanga in depth. We offer a new and dynamic framework for considering the regional distribution of motifs.

13. Hampson, J. & Mguni, S. 2001. Rock art and archives. South African Heritage Resources Agency & UNESCO.

This work on the aims and scope of an archive has influenced many researchers in not only academia but also curators and researchers in the field of museum studies.

14. Lewis-Williams, J. D, Blundell, G., Challis, W. & Hampson, J. 2000. Threads of light: re-examining a motif in southern African San rock art research. South African Archaeological Bulletin 55: 123–136.

Using diverse strands of evidence to explicate a specific motif, we add important nuanced knowledge to what we know about the ontologies of indigenous groups in southern Africa.

Full publications list

Hampson, J. 2016. Embodied identity and ideology in the rock art of Trans-Pecos Texas. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 26(1).

Hampson, J. 2015. Rock art and regional identity: a comparative perspective. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.

Hampson, J. 2015. Presenting rock art and perceiving identity in South Africa and beyond. Time & Mind: the Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture 8(4): 373–391.

Hampson, J. 2014. Conflict on the frontier: San rock art, spirituality, and historical narrative in the Free State Province, South Africa. In: Gillette, D., Greer, M., Hayward, M. & Murray, W. (eds), Rock Art and Sacred Landscapes: 103–115. New York: Springer.

Hampson, J. 2013. Rock art heritage and the (re)negotiation of post-colonial identities. In: Bowe, M., Carpeneti, B., Dull, I. & Lipkowitz, J. (eds), Heritage Studies: Stories in the Making, 141–170. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hampson, J. 2013. The materiality of rock art and quartz: a case study from Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 23(3): 363–372.

Hampson, J. 2013. Trans-Pecos Texas: approaching rock art in understudied regions. Time and Mind: the Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture 6(1): 89–96.

Hampson, J. 2012. Review of Seeing and knowing: understanding rock art with and without ethnography (Blundell, Chippindale & Smith (eds), 2010) in South African Archaeological Bulletin 67(195): 5–6.

Hampson, J. 2012. Rock art research: broad themes in the 77th Annual Meeting of the SAA in Memphis. La Pintura 38(3): 7–9, 17.

Hampson, J. 2010. Rock art regionalism, identity, and heritage: case studies from the Texas Trans-Pecos and South Africa. La Pintura 36(3): 4–9.

Taçon, P., Boivin, N., Hampson, J., Blinkhorn, J., Korisettar, R. & Petraglia, M. 2010. Continuity, change and cultural connections to painted rock art of the Kurnool area, one of south India’s little known rock art provinces. Antiquity 84: 335–350.

Petraglia, M., Korisettar, R., Kasturi Bai, M., Boivin, N., Clarkson, C., Cunningham, K., Ditchfield, P., Fuller, D., Hampson, J., Haslam, M., Jones, S., Koshy, J., Miracle, P., Oppenheimer, C. & White, K. 2009.Human occupation, adaptation and behavioural change in the Pleistocene and Holocene of South India. Journal of Eurasian Prehistory 6(1–2): 119–166.

Boivin, N., Blinkhorn, J., Hampson, J., Korisettar, R. & Petraglia, M. 2009. New methodological approaches to Indian rock art: preliminary report from the Kurnool District Archaeological Project. Man in India.

Boivin, N., Hampson, J., Blinkhorn, J., Korisettar, R. & Petraglia, M. 2009. Re-examining rock art studies in India: a case study from Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh. In: K. Paddayya, P. P. Joglekar, K. K. Basa & R. Sewant (eds.), Recent research trends in South Asian archaeology: 261–278. Pune, India: Deccan College.

Hampson, J. 2004. Animals in the rock art of Bongani Game Reserve, Mpumalanga. Ecological Journal 6: 20–25.

Hampson, J. 2002. Discovering southern African rock art. TRACCE online bulletin. http://rupestre.net/tracce_php/modules.php?name=Sections&op=printpage&artid=7

Hampson, J., Challis, W. R., Blundell, G. & de Rosner, C. 2002. The rock art of Bongani Mountain Lodge and its environs, Mpumalanga Province: an introduction to problems of southern African rock-art regions. South African Archaeological Bulletin 57: 17–32.

Hampson, J. & Mguni, S. 2001. Rock art and archives. COMRASA/South African Heritage Resources Agency.

Hampson, J. (ed.) 2001. Land manager’s pack. Johannesburg: Rock Art Research Institute.

Lewis-Williams, J. D., Blundell, G., Challis, W. R., & Hampson, J. 2000. Threads of light: re-examining a motif in southern African San rock art research. South African Archaeological Bulletin 55: 123–136. 

Research

Overview

Research interests: theory and method in rock art studies, indigenous studies, rock art and identity, archaeological regionalism, socio-politics and the commodification of heritage, historiography, the role of rock art today.

Projects

RockArt: Rock Art, Indigenous Heritage, and Cultural Identity

Archaeological, historical, art historical and ethnographic work has confirmed the importance of rock paintings and engravings as windows onto hunter-gatherer lifeways, some of which have vanished or on the point of extinction. Much of this work however overlooks the fact that rock art – an integral part of visual heritage and indigenous knowledge systems – remains powerfully relevant to what it means to be human. Rock art is implicated in cultural identity today in many different contexts (social, political, commercial), both on and off the rocks; South Africa’s new coat-of arms, for instance, features re-contextualised rock art motifs. This Marie Curie project analyses exactly how rock art is used, and how it influences identity-formation processes, in post-colonial nations today: the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The project also tests the hypothesis that appropriate management of fragile rock art heritage sites in national parks can and does make a difference, challenging people's preconceptions of rock art and of the indigenous people who made it. In collaboration with conservation scientists and social scientists (archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, art historians, heritage managers), and combined with contemporary indigenous and tourist perspectives, an analysis of ethnographic and archaeological data is beginning to yield meaningful results and practical suggestions regarding identity formation and the presentation of indigenous rock art. These results will be applicable to public rock art sites in countries worldwide.

Other current projects include: 

Collaborators

Dr Sara Perry

External activities

Memberships

  • Lecturer at the University of Western Australia (Perth)
  • Senior Research Fellow, Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • Research Associate, Sul Ross State University, Texas
  • Australian Archaeology Association Membership Secretary and Executive Voting Member (2014–2015)
  • British Rock Art Group (co-founder)
  • North American Archaeological Research Group (UK co-founder)
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • American Anthropological Association
  • American Rock Art Research Association
  • International Federation of Rock Art Organisations
  • World Archaeology Congress
  • Reviewer for numerous journals and presses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Hampson

Contact details

Dr Jamie Hampson
Department of Archaeology
University of York
King's Manor
York
YO1 7EP