Professor Tacon leads research projects on rock art in various parts of Australia, China and Malaysia.

His areas of expertise include the anthropology of art and religion, material culture, rock-art/palaeo-art, archaeology of hunter-gatherers, museums, Indigenous perspectives of the past, body art, photography and landscape archaeology.

As Chair in Rock Art Research Professor Tacon will establish a new research unit at Griffith University and organise training workshops in Australia, Thailand and Yunnan Province, China.

He will initiate new collaborative research programs with Indigenous peoples and local archaeologists in various parts of the Australasian region.

He also is collaborating with colleagues at other Australian universities to establish a national rock art institute.

“New discoveries of rock paintings, drawings, stencils and engravings fascinate the general public, Indigenous peoples and academics alike,” Professor Tacon said.

“Rock art is one of the most important parts of world visual heritage and in the past few years major discoveries have been made across south-east Asia and throughout Australia.

“Yet most sites are under threat of development, vandalism and climate change.

“In this new position I intend to work closely with Indigenous peoples and academic colleagues to help safeguard these important places, and associated knowledge, for future generations.”