Ph.D. Candidate Chester Liwosz Publishes Article in Archaeology Journal

May 08, 2017

Chester Liwosz
Grad student Chester Liwosz

Graduate student Chester Liwosz has published an articled entlitled Petroglyphs and puha: how multisensory experiences evidence landscape agencyThe article, which provides analysis of rock art in the Southwest, appears in the journal Time and Mind - The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture.

Liwosz came to UCSC as an archaeology-track graduate student in 2012. He is currently working toward a doctoral dissertation addressing meaning-making through multisensory experiences during religious experiences, and also instructs upper-division courses in the department. Click here to access his academic portfolio.

Abstract from Petroglyphs and puha:

Recent moves by many Great Basin and California scholars to connect the ethnographic record with archaeological evidence have fostered new understandings of the interconnected relationship between landscape, human behavior, and cosmology. Oral tradition and ethnographic commentary reinvigorate rock art research, once emblematic of interpretive impasses. Phenomena described as spirit voices connect multisensory religious experiences associated with such sites distributed throughout the region, and possibly result from rituals inherent in producing and interacting with painted and engraved images. The prolific ‘pecking’ production technique exemplifies actions which would result in both auditory experiences and durable visible traces. Recent fieldwork at a rock art site situated at the juncture of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert tested the propagation of sounds comparable to those generated with this technique. Preliminary results of ongoing analysis, reported here, demonstrate how low-cost equipment and zero-trace methods can be mobilized to generate useful and compelling data for addressing complex sensitive matters of non-western ontologies, all while remaining committed to the framework of the scientific method.