Dr Aron Mazel
Reader in Heritage Studies
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7845
Aron joined the University in 2002 after a 25-year career in archaeological research and heritage and museum management in South Africa. Posts he held in South Africa included Assistant Director of the Natal Museum (1994-1997) and Director of the South African Cultural History Museum (1998-2002). Between 2002 and 2004, Aron managed the Beckensall Northumberland Rock Art Website Project, which won the 2006 Channel 4 ICT British Archaeological Award. Aron's research interests include the management and interpretation of tangible and intangible heritage; museum history; the construction of the hunter-gatherer past; dating of rock art; and Northumberland rock art. Recent book publications include Tracks in a Mountain Range: exploring of the history of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg (2007, with John Wright), Art as Metaphor: The Prehistoric Rock- Art of Britain (2007, co-edited with George Nash and Clive Waddington), and uKhahlamba: Umlando wezintaba zoKhahlamba/History of the uKhahlamba (2012, with John Wright). The latter book is unique in the South African publishing world as it is the first book on archaeology and history in the country to have been published bilingually in isiZulu and English.
Roles and Responsibilities
Module Leader – Understanding Challenges (MA)
Module Leader - Working on a Project: Heritage (MA)
Module Leader – Our visual past: Ancient Rock Art in the UK and internationally (UG)
Admissions Tutor (MA)
BA (1977), BA Hons (1978), MA (1981), PhD (1988). All University of Cape Town
2012-2015 Director: International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS)
2002- 2004 Research Associate (Archaeology), School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
2002 Head: Research & Interpretation (Social History), Iziko Museums of Cape Town
1998-2002 Director, South African Cultural History Museum
1994-1997 Assistant Director, Natal Museum
1981-1994 Museum Human Scientist (Archaeology), Natal Museum
1979-1981 Temporary Professional Officer (Archaeology), Natal Museum
1978 Tutor (Archaeology), University of Cape Town
Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA)
British Rock Art Group (BRAG)
Council for British Archaeology (CBA)
Museums and Galleries History Group (MGHG)
Pan African Association for Prehistory and Related Studies
South African Archaeological Society
South African Museums Association
The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Honours and Awards
The 'Northumberland Rock Art: Web Access to the Beckensall Archive' website won the 2006 British Archaeological Awards Channel 4 ICT Category.
Esteem indicators (selection)
2011–2016 Member of the International Rock-Art Research Task Group led by Professor Arsenault of the University of Montreal.
2009 Delivered an address at the UNESCO Rock Art and the World Heritage Convention meeting (South Africa)
2008-2013 External examiner at the University of Bath Spa Heritage Management undergraduate degree
2004-ongoing Committee member British Rock Art Group (BRAG)
1998-ongoing Member of Editorial Board: Southern African Humanities (KwaZulu-Natal Museum)
1999-2013 Member of Editorial Board: Public Archaeology
1995-2005 Council member of the Pan African Association of Africanists
1994-1998 Chairperson of the Southern African Association of Archaeologists (now: Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists)
Aron Mazel’s research interests include:
• The management and interpretation of cultural heritage
• History of South African museums
• The construction of hunter-gatherer archaeological history, including the integration of information derived from excavations with that from rock art (research area: Thukela basin, South Africa)
• The absolute and relative dating of rock art
• Northumberland rock art
• The portrayal of San hunter-gatherer and Black farming community archaeological history in South African schools textbooks and museums since the 1970s
• Changing interpretations of hunter-gatherer history
Postgraduate Taught Teaching
I contribute widely across the Museums, Galleries and Heritage modules. Specifically, I am the module leader for:
Understanding Challenges (MA)
Working on a Project: Heritage (MA)
Our Visual Past: Ancient Rock Art in the UK and Internationally (UG)
Postgraduate Research Supervision
I welcome postgraduate students who are interested to do research in any of these areas:
- management and interpretation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage
- heritage tourism
- world heritage
- museum histories
- rock art chronology
- Northumberland rock art
- South Africa rock art
Postgraduate supervision since 2010
- Arwa Badran: Archaeological Museums and Schools: Teaching Primary-Aged Children about the Past in Jordan
- Liz Bell: Giving Up the Dead? The Impact and Effectiveness of the Human Tissue Act and the Guidance for the Care of Human Remains in Museums in English Museums
- Michał Ryszard Koskowski: Management of Castles in Poland in the Early 21st Century
- Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu: A comparative analysis of rock art in southern Africa: Animals and cosmological models
- Tony McDonald: How effectively can World Heritage in young hands support delivery of the revised National Curriculum for secondary schools in England?
- Tori Park: Read all about it? Newspaper coverage of the archaeological excavation, retention, and reburial of human remains within the UK
- Niki Black: Community Cultural Festivals in Northumberland: How do these events contribute to the social sustainability of their host community?
- Katharina Massing: From ‘Theme Park’ to ecomuseum: Could the use of ecomuseum principles in Hainan Province help to safeguard the intangible heritage of its ethnic minorities?
- Dinc Sarac: Archaeological Heritage Management in Turkey: a case study on Antalya region (SW Turkey)
- Emma Coffield: What cultures influence the understanding and practice of learning in emergent, artist-led contemporary art institutions?
- Yong Zhao: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Sustainable Cultural Heritage Tourism: A Case Study in the Historic City of Xi’an, China
- Jane Brantom: Aspiration and Reality: World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism at the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway World Heritage Site
- David Brough: Consideration of factors influencing progress towards the operational establishment of Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site as a serial transnational property
- Erin Watson: Portable art or re-used rock carving? A re-analysis of the concept of portability
Current PhD students
- Carolyn Gibbeson: Haunted Hospitals: An Actor Network Theory approach examining the role of emotional attachment in the redevelopment of Victorian Asylums.
- Harris McCoy: How and why has the business of museums impacted the profession of Museology? Are museums creating a commercial organizational culture that supports and engages its professionals?
- Brian Moss: Engaging with Outdoor Heritage though Smartphone based Mobile Digital Interpretation
- David Selnick: Assessing the Sufficiency of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Protocols to Address the Character of Modern Conflict.
- Mazel AD. The power of shadings polychrome paintings in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountains, South Africa. TBC 2019. In Preparation.
- Mazel AD, Duggan M. At the confluence of history: Junction Shelter in Didima Gorge, South Africa. African Archaeological Review 2018. In Preparation.
- Giesen MJ, Mazel AD, Warke PA, Lewis P, Graham DW. Caring for open-air rock art in the UK and Ireland: integrating environmental and management parameters. TBC 2018. In Preparation.
- Mazel AD, Giesen MJ, Lewis P. Engagement and Management: Developing a monitoring toolkit to assist in decision making for open-air rock art. TBC 2018. In Preparation.
- Mazel AD. Exhibiting a ‘nation’: the first displays of the South African Cultural History Museum during the time of Apartheid. Southern African Humanities 2018, 29. In Preparation.
- Mazel AD. Pajouste Forest massacre, 23 August 1941: memory, emotions and migration. In: Marschall, S, ed. Memory, Migration and Travel. Routledge, 2018. In Preparation.
- Mazel A, Corsane G, Thomas R, James S. From the bottom up: the Identification and safeguarding of Intangible cultural heritage in Guyana. In: Stefano ML; Davis P, ed. The Routledge Companion to Intangible Heritage. Routledge, 2017, pp.81-96.
- Turner M, Dowsland S, Mazel A, Giesen M. Rock Art CARE: A cross platform mobile application for crowdsourcing heritage conservation data for the safeguarding of open-air rock art. AUGUST 28 - SEPTEMBER 1, 2017, OTTAWA, CANADA. In: Digital Workflows for Heritage Conservation. 2017, Ottawa, Canada.
- Mazel A. Valuing rock art: a view from Northumberland in North East England. International Journal of Heritage Studies 2017, 23(5), 421-433.
- Giesen MJ, Ung A, Warke PA, Christgen B, Mazel AD, Graham DW. Condition assessment and preservation of open-air rock art panels during environmental change. Journal of Cultural Heritage 2014, 15(1), 49-56.
- Mazel AD. Further reflections on politics, education and archaeology in the 1980s and early 1990s. South African Archaeological Bulletin 2014, 69(199), 1-3.
- Giesen MJ, Mazel AD, Graham DW, Warke PA. The Preservation and Care of Rock-Art in Changing Environments: A View from Northeastern England, United Kingdom. In: Darvill T; Batarda Fernandes AP, ed. Open-Air Rock-Art Conservation and Management: State of the Art and Future Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 2014, pp.38-52.
- Mazel AD. Troubled ‘Homecoming’: Journey to a Foreign yet Familiar Land. In: Convery,I. Davis,P. and Corsane, G, ed. Displaced Heritage: Dealing With Disaster and Suffering. Boydell & Brewer, 2014. In Press.
- Mazel AD, Graham D, Warke P, Giesen M. A responsibility of CARE: heritage and science in the service of safeguarding threatened ancient rock art. In: Sustaining the Impact of UK Science and Heritage Research: Contributions to the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme Conference. 2013, London: AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme.
- Mazel AD. Apartheid's child: the creation of the South African Cultural History Museum in the 1950s and 1960s. Museum History Journal 2013, 6(2), 166-202.
- Mazel AD, Galani A. Experiencing Northumberland rock art the mobile way. International Newsletter on Rock Art 2013, 66, 27-30.
- Mazel A. Paint and earth: constructing hunter-gatherer history in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, South Africa. Time and Mind 2013, 6(1), 49-57.
- Galani A, Mazel A, Maxwell D, Sharpe K. Situating Cultural Technologies Outdoors: Empathy in the Design of Mobile Interpretation of Rock Art in Rural Britain. In: Ch'ng, E., Gaffney, V., Chapman, H, ed. Visual Heritage in the Digital Age. London: Springer, 2013, pp.183-204.
- Mazel A, Galani A, Maxwell D, Sharpe K. 'I want to be provoked': public involvement in the development of the Northumberland Rock Art on Mobile Phones project. World Archaeology 2012, 44(4), 592-611.
- Corsane G, Mazel A. Looking to the future: the en-compass project as a way forward for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. In: Stefano, M.L., Davis P., Corsane, G, ed. Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2012, pp.247-261.
- Mazel A, Galani A. Rock Art Goes Mobile. Interpretation 2012, 17(2), 6-8.
- Mazel A. Safeguarding a Fragile Legacy: Managing uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Rock Art. In: McDonald, J., Veth, P, ed. A Companion to Rock Art. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, pp.515-531.
- Wright J, Mazel A. Umlando Wezintaba ZoKhahlamba: History of the Ukhahlamba Mountains. Johannesburg, South Africa: Wits University Press, 2012.
- Giesen MJ, Mazel AD, Graham DW, Warke PA. Care and Management of Ancient Stone Monuments during Environmental Change. International Journal of Heritage and Sustainable Development 2011, 1(1), 60-71.
- Galani A, Maxwell D, Mazel A, Sharpe K. Rock Art Mobile Web Application Mobile interpretation for 3 rock art sites: Lordenshaw, Weetwood Moor, Dod Law. 2011. Newcastle upon Tyne: International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Mobille Web Application.
- Mazel AD. Time, Color, and Sound: Revisiting the rock art of Didima Gorge, South Africa. Time and Mind 2011, 4(3), 283-296.
- Giesen MJ, Mazel AD, Graham DW, Warke PA. The resilience and care of ancient stone monuments in changing environments. In: Amoêda, R; Lira, S; Pinheiro, C, ed. Heritage 2010: Heritage and Sustainable Development. Barcelos: Green Lines Institute, 2010, pp.515-523.
- Deacon J, Mazel A. uKhlahamba Drakensberg and Mapungubwe:Contrasts in South Africa’s World Heritage Rock Art Sites. Adoranten 2010, 2010(1), 5 - 23.
- Mazel AD, Ayestaran H. Visiting Northumberland rock art virtually: the Beckensall archive analysed. In: Barnett, TF; Sharpe, KE, ed. Carving a Future for British Rock Art: New Directions for Research, Management and Presentation. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2010, pp.140-150.
- Mazel AD. Images in time: Advances in the dating of Maloti-Drakensberg rock art since the 1970s. In: Mitchell, P;Smith, B, ed. The Eland’s People: New Perspectives on the Rock Art of the Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen. Essays in Memory of Patricia Vinnicombe. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2009, pp.81-97.
- Jerardino A, Horwitz LK, Mazel AD, Navarro R. Just before van Riebeeck: glimpses into terminal LSA lifestyle at Connies Limpet Bar, Elands Bay, West Coast of South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin 2009, 64(198), 75-86.
- Mazel AD. Unsettled times: shaded polychrome paintings and hunter-gatherer history in the southeastern mountains of southern Africa. Southern African Humanities 2009, 21, 85-115.
- Mazel AD. Visitor attractions in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg: Main Caves, Kamberg and Didima. In: Mitchell, P; Smith, B, ed. The Eland’s People: New Perspectives on the Rock Art of the Maloti/Drakensberg Bushmen. Essays in Memory of Pat Vinnicombe. Johannesburg, South Africa: Wits University Press, 2009, pp.66-67.
- Mazel AD. Presenting the San hunter-gatherer past to the public: a view from the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, South Africa. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 2008, 10(1), 41-51.
- Nash G, Mazel AD, Waddington C, ed. Art as Metaphor: The Prehistoric Rock-Art of Britain. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2007.
- Mazel AD. Colour in the past: shaded polychromes in the hunter-gatherer history of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, South Africa. In: Rock art in the framework of the cultural Heritageof Humankind, XXII Valcamonica Symposium. 2007, Valcamonica, Italy: CCSP.
- Mazel AD. Dating of rock art in Africa. In: Deacon, J, ed. The Future of Africa's Past: African Rock Art in the 21st Century. Nairobi, Kenya: Trust for African Rock Art, 2007, pp.118-128.
- Mazel AD. On the fells and beyond: exploring aspects of Northumberland rock art. In: Nash, G; Mazel, AD;Waddington, C, ed. Art as Metaphor: The Prehistoric Rock-Art of Britain. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2007, pp.231-257.
- Cramer MD, Mazel AD. The past distribution of giraffe in KwaZulu-Natal. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 2007, 37(2), 197-201.
- Wright JB, Mazel AD. Tracks in a mountain range: exploring the history of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 2007.
- Waddington C, Johnson B, Mazel AD. Excavation of a rock art site at Hunterheugh Crag, Northumberland. Archaeologica Aeliana 2005, 5th Series(34), 29-54.
- Mazel AD (Project Manager). Northumberland Rock Art: Web Access to the Beckensall Archive. University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2005. Available at: http://rockart.ncl.ac.uk.
- Hall S, Mazel AD. The Private Performance of Events: Colonial Period Rock Art from the Swartruggens. Kronos: Journal of Cape History 2005, 31(1), 124-151.
- Mazel AD. Virtual access to the Beckensall Northumberland rock art archive. International Newsletter on Rock Art 2005, 42, 24-27.
- Mazel AD. The last two thousand years of Thukela Basin hunter-gatherer history: new developments. In: 11th Congress of the Pan African Association for Prehistory and Related Studies. 2004, Bamoko, Mali.
- Mazel AD, Watchman AL. Dating rock paintings in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg and the Biggarsberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Southern African Humanities 2003, 15(1), 59-73.