Phoenix, AZ— The eyes of the rock art world will turn to Albuquerque, New Mexico during Memorial Day week, May 26 - 31, 2013, when the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO) will convene its International Rock Art Congress at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel. IFRAO is a consortium of more than fifty international rock art research associations, who explore the many facets of rock art – the study of prehistoric human-made markings found on stone in natural landscape settings. The local hosting organization is American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA).

Albuquerque provides an excellent portal for exploration of Southwestern cultures and rock art. The theme “Ancient Hands Around the World” is designed to bring together the diverse interests of the many people who study and work to conserve the pictographs and petroglyphs in all countries. Depictions of hands are found in rock art of all cultures and in all time periods, and their symbolism portrays the goal of assembling researchers from across the globe to share their experiences and knowledge.

The conference is open to all—professional archaeologists and interested avocationalists alike. In keeping with the international agenda established over the past years, the conference will offer four days of oral and poster presentations in sessions organized by topics, and Wednesday will be devoted to field trips for all attendees. Other special cultural events are planned throughout the week including evening lectures open to the public, dances by local Pueblo groups, social events and vendor offerings of rock art related merchandise. Opportunities to book extended field trips before and after the Congress will also be available.

A small sampling of session topics will include Rock Art in Asia and the Pacific; Great Mural Traditions of the American Southwest; Research in Chinese Rock Art; and Gender and Sexual Dynamics in Rock Art, to cite only a few of the very interesting subjects on offer. There will be a special session devoted to student research. Official languages of the Congress will be English and Spanish. Registration particulars can be accessed at