David S. Whitley

Artsoundscapes collaborator David S. Whitley

Keywords: prehistoric archaeology; ethnography; rock art; chronometrics; cultural heritage management; western North America.

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Dr. David S. Whitley has over 40 years of experience specializing in the prehistoric archaeology and ethnography of far western North America, with particular interests in sacred sites, rock art, chronometrics and cultural heritage management.

He has also worked in southern Africa, Europe and Guatemala.

His professional publications include 17 books, monographs and approximately 100 articles and chapters. Included among his recent books are The Rock Art of California (University of Utah Press, 2000), the edited volume Handbook of Rock Art Research (AltaMira Press, 2001), and Introduction to Rock Art Research (Left Coast Press, 2005), which received a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award for 2006.

His latest book is Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief (Prometheus Books, 2009).

Dr. Whitley has written the nominations for almost 400 sites that are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For a decade he served on the Council of Directors of the ICOMOS International Rock Art Committee (CAR).

In 2001 he received the Thomas King Award from the Society for California Archaeology for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management.

Dr. Whitley exceeds the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for Archaeology.


Whitley, D.S. (2009). Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief. New York: Prometheus Books.

Whitley, D.S. (2005). Introduction to Rock Art Research. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Whitley, D.S. (2001). Handbook of Rock Art Research. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.

Whitley, D.S. (2000). The Art of the Shaman: Rock Art of California. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.