Event Detail

17
Oct
2011

Hong Kong's Rock Art

William Meacham
Monday, 17 Oct 2011
Hong Kong Club

Hong Kong has a rich collection of ancient rock art. William Meacham from University of Hong Kong's Asian Studies Department enlightens us on their origins and meanings.

Dinks from 6.30pm (cash bar) Lecture starts 7.30 pm

Members HK$100 Non Members HK$150

Please note Hong Kong Club has a strict dress code and does not permit denim in any form, sports shoes, flip flops, shorts , sports tops. Mobile phones must not be used on the premises.

In an illustrated lecture William Meacham speaks on the abundant, fascinating prehistoric rock art in the Hong Kong region; a surprisingly beautiful and mysterious art, present in various prehistoric rock art sites in Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast China.

Now declared as monuments by the Hong Kong Government, seven Bronze Age rock carvings are the only aboveground features left by the early inhabitants of Hong Kong circa 1,000 B.C. All except one are found along the Hong Kong coastline. These sites were recently the subject of a government study focusing on preservation and display. Mr. Meacham talks about the dating and possible meaning of the mysterious patterns found at these sites, along with the controversial issue of conservation. Possible links with folk religious practices still surviving in the Hong Kong area are also revealed.

Three Iron Age rock carvings are also found in Hong Kong, together with a similar carving in Macau. The only other known rock carvings in all of Guangdong province are those found at a coastal site in Zhuhai. Further afield, Fujian has rock carving sites of different ages, while rock paintings are common in Guangxi.

Archaeological investigation began in Hong Kong in the 1920s and showed that the territory had a considerable prehistoric occupation, now known to extend back at least 7,000 years. Sites abound on outlying islands and along the coastline of the New Territories. More than two hundred sites of the Neolithic and Bronze Age have been recorded and many have been systematically surveyed and excavated.

William Meacham is an archaeologist specialising in South China. He has resided in Hong Kong since 1970, holding positions at the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture. Since 1980, he has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies, The University of Hong Kong. He was previously the longstanding chairman of the Hong Kong Archaeological Society. Mr. Meacham has directed more than thirty archaeological excavations in Hong Kong and Macau; the largest of these was the sixteenmonth survey and excavation of Chek Lap Kok island, now the site of Hong Kong's international airport. Among his other research interests is the Turin Shroud, about which he is worldfamous for his research. He has written or edited seven books on archaeology, including most recently, The Archaeology of Hong Kong and Rock Carvings in Hong Kong.

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