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IFIRAR (International Federation of Independent Rock Art Researchers) is a blogging platform for non-affiliated researchers who can disseminate the results of their work, and for academics who may be interested in publishing independently.  Authors and the general public can share papers and follow developments in the field of rock art research, where archaeology, paleoanthropology, cognitive sciences, psychology and numerous other disciplines converge.  Therefore, blogs that touch on developments in any of these fields are welcome.  However, the posts should be structured, presented and referenced following the norms accepted in the case of scientific papers.

IFIRAR is an advocate of the open science or open access movements, responding to a perceived need in science and the humanities for instant distribution of research/ideas and the need for a peer-review system that occurs alongside distribution, instead of taking place before it. Blogs submitted to IFIRAR are posted in the Federation’s Quarterly (IFIRARQ). However, only a sample paper from each issue will be embedded and remain on public display. All the other contributions are filed, and when a sufficient number of blogs that address a specific topic add up, these will be collected in an edited book and submitted for publication. Whenever an author decides to publish a paper that was initially blogged in IFIRAR, we release the post without any precondition and only the abstract of the article will be saved for our records, in order to avoid any conflict of interests.

IFIRAR also campaigns for the recognition of traditional indigenous societies as the owners of their cultural heritage and the return of ancestral rock art and archaeological sites into their care and possession. Our members are actively involved in this effort, in different parts of the world. All our initiatives are guided by the Code of Ethics of the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO) [www.ifrao.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ethic.doc].

IFIRAR was launched in December 2014, in Switzerland. Membership is free and granted upon request to our contributors and followers. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.




IFIRAR (International Federation of Independent Rock Art Researchers) | Chalet Ruobstein,  2 Ruobsteinstrasse,  8874 Mühlehorn,  Switzerland.

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Exceptions to the Rule? Ethnographic Alternatives to Cumulative Cultural Evolution – Graphical Abstract | G. F. Steiner


View | download file [pdf]:

Graphical Abstract -_Exceptions to the Rule-GFS_IJMAJOL_2-14_IFIRARQ_24-3

IFIRAR Quarterly – Vol. 24, September 2020

DOI: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4016638

Read | download Open Access article:

Int. J. Mod. Anthrop. @ AJOL https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ijma/article/view/201870

Steiner, G. F. 2020. Exceptions to the rule? Ethnographic alternatives to cumulative cultural evolution. International Journal of Modern Anthropology 2(14): 177-225. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ijma.v2i14.1

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Avan Dozi: Reunion

Beside scholarly articles in the Quarterly, IFIRAR is also publishing artistic approaches to rock art. In addition to visual arts, music also bears the potential to capture and express the cognitive processes behind rock art. Having in mind that abstract visual representations, elaborate mimetic progressions and consciously sequenced sounds and vocalizations are the main components of an ancient ritual behavior, music cannot be separated from rock art. Not incidentally, the first CD produced by IFIRAR was titled “Engravings in Rock and Vinyl – Contemporary Music Inspired by Ancient Rock Art.”

Reunion features the same artist and introduces the same concepts. For more information, please read the CD booklet below. Once the album becomes available, a link to the musical content will also be provided.


View | download booklet [pdf]:



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Special Issue: Why Cognitive Archaeology Needs Philosophy?

Neanderthals in Plato’s Cave – A Tribute to Lucian Blaga | Review article by André Poenaru


View | download file [pdf]:

ifirarq18_A tribute to Blaga.rev_Poenaru

IFIRAR Quarterly – Vol. 18, March 2019 

9/9/2020 – Following responses that have questioned the accuracy of a specific suggestion in the paper, the author has revised the text and answered the objections in a footnote reviewing the literature that refutes the validity of Dollo’s ‘law of irreversibility’ in biological and/or cultural evolution.

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HOLOCENE CROSSROADS: Managing the Risks of Cultural Evolution | George F. Steiner


IFIRAR Quarterly – Vol. 16, September 2018

View | download file [pdf]:

IFIRARQ16_Holocene Crossroads

View | download Supplementary Graphic Material [pdf]:

SGM-IFIRARQ16_Holocene Crossroads

View | download Graphical Abstract [pdf]:

G. A. – Holocene Crossroads

A book-size version of this study was published in May 2019, titled


For details, click https://ifirar.wordpress.com/editors-pick/

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CALIBRATING vs. IDEATING REALITY: A Cognitive Assessment of Paleolithic Abstractions and Illustrations [Synopsis]|George F. Steiner

Cal_IdA coming up presentation for the NeanderART Conference, August 22-26 2018, University of Turin, Italy.

IFIRAR Quarterly – Volume 15, June 2018

View|download file [pdf]:

IFIRARQ15_Calibrating vs. Ideating Reality-Synopsis

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View Table of Contents [pdf]:

Neanderthals in Plato’s Cave


IFIRAR(m) logo-1

IFIRAR Monographs – Issue I., March 2017 (withdrawn)



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FROM PRIMITIVE WELLNESS TO CIVILIZED MADNESS: An Etiology and Case History of Collective Dissociation | George F. Steiner

primwell to civmad


Republished as a separate volume (2018) by Lambert Academic Publishing, Beau Bassin

View Table of Contents (pdf):

From Primitive Wellness to Civilized Madness


Originally published in 

IFIRAR Quarterly – Vol. 5, December 2015

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RITUAL ECHO: Contemporary Music Inspired by Ancient Rock Art (CD) | Avan Dozi

Ritual Echo


IFIRAR Quarterly – Vol. 1, December 2014


Watch | like on Youtube

1. Valley Footprints

2. Ghost Talk

3. Crossing the Gene Pool

4. Don't Let the San Go Down!

5. Evening Magic

6. Mantra

7. New Community

8. Oseeda's Dance

9. Ritual Echo

10. Symbols Beyond