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A Companion to Rock Art

Jo McDonald (Editor), Peter Veth (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3424-1
714 pages
September 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Rock Art (1444334247) cover image
This unique guide provides an artistic and archaeological journey deep into human history, exploring the petroglyphic and pictographic forms of rock art produced by the earliest humans to contemporary peoples around the world.

  • Summarizes the diversity of views on ancient rock art from leading international scholars
  • Includes new discoveries and research, illustrated with over 160 images (including 30 color plates) from major rock art sites around the world
  • Examines key work of noted authorities (e.g. Lewis-Williams, Conkey, Whitley and Clottes), and outlines new directions for rock art research
  • Is broadly international in scope, identifying rock art from North and South America, Australia, the Pacific, Africa, India, Siberia and Europe
  • Represents new approaches in the archaeological study of rock art, exploring issues that include gender, shamanism, landscape, identity, indigeneity, heritage and tourism, as well as technological and methodological advances in rock art analyses
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List of Plates ix

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xvi

Notes on Contributors xviii

Foreword: Redefining the Mainstream with Rock Art xxix
Margaret W. Conkey

1 Research Issues and New Directions: One Decade into the New Millennium 1
Jo McDonald and Peter Veth

Part I Explanatory Frameworks: New Insights 15

2 Rock Art and Shamanism 17
J. David Lewis-Williams

3 Pictographs, Patterns, and Peyote in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas 34
Carolyn E. Boyd

4 Variation in Early Paintings and Engravings 51
Iain Davidson

Part II Inscribed Landscapes 69

5 Rock Art and Seascapes 71
Ian J. McNiven and Liam M. Brady

6 The Social Dynamics of Aggregation and Dispersal in the Western Desert 90
Jo McDonald and Peter Veth

7 Rock Art and Transformed Landscapes in Puerto Rico 103
Michele H. Hayward and Michael A. Cinquino

Part III Rock Art at the Regional Level 125

8 Megalithic Rock Art of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Seaboard Europe 127
George Nash

9 North American–Siberian Connections: Regional Rock Art Patterning Using Multivariate Statistics 143
Alice Tratebas

10 Southern Melanesian Rock Art: The New Caledonian Case 160
Christophe Sand

11 Rock Art Research in India: Historical Approaches and Recent Theoretical Directions 179
James Blinkhorn, Nicole Boivin, Paul S. C. Taçon, and Michael D. Petraglia

Part IV Engendered Approaches 197

12 Engendering Rock Art 199
Kelley Hays-Gilpin

13 Pictures of Women: The Social Context of Australian Rock Art Production 214
Jo McDonald

14 Engendering North European Rock Art: Bodies and Cosmologies in Stone and Bronze Age Imagery 237
Joakim Goldhahn and Ingrid Fuglestvedt

Part V Form, Style, and Aesthetics in Rock Art 261

15 Understanding Pleistocene Rock Art: An Hermeneutics of Meaning 263
Oscar Moro Abadía and Manuel R. González Morales

16 Rock “Art” and Art: Why Aesthetics Should Matter 276
Thomas Heyd

17 Recursive and Iterative Processes in Australian Rock Art: An Anthropological Perspective 294
Howard Morphy

18 A Theoretical Approach to Style in Levantine Rock Art 306
Inés Domingo Sanz

Part VI Contextualizing Rock Art 323

19 Rock Art in Situ: Context and Content as Keys to Meaning 325
Linea Sundstrom

20 Symbolic Discontinuities: Rock Art and Social Changes across Time and Space 341
Maria Isabel Hernández Llosas

21 Parietal Art and Archaeological Context: Activities of the Magdalenians in the Cave of Tuc d’Audoubert, France 364
Robert Bégouën, Carole Fritz, and Gilles Tosello

22 Rock Art, Inherited Landscapes, and Human Populations in Southern Patagonia 381
Judith Charlin and Luis A. Borrero

Part VII The Mediating Role of Rock Art 399

23 When Worlds Collide Quietly: Rock Art and the Mediation of Distance 401
Ursula K. Frederick

24 Picturing Change and Changing Pictures: Contact Period Rock Art of Australia 420
Paul S.C. Taçon, June Ross, Alistair Paterson, and Sally May

Part VIII Rock Art, Identity, and Indigeneity 437

25 Rock Art, Identity, and Indigeneity 439
Robert Layton

26 Shamanism in Indigenous Context: Understanding Siberian Rock Art 455
Andrzej Rozwadowski

27 Rock Art, Aboriginal Culture, and Identity: The Wanjina Paintings of Northwest Australia 472
Valda Blundell and Donny Woolagoodja

Part IX Rock Art Management and Interpretation 489

28 Rock Art and the UNESCO World Heritage List 491
Nuria Sanz

29 Safeguarding a Fragile Legacy: Managing uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Rock Art 515
Aron Mazel

30 Managing Rock Art Sites 532
Valerie Magar

31 From Discovery to Commoditization: Rock Art Management in Remote Australia 546
Peter Veth

Part X Dating Rock Art: Technological Advances and Applications 563

32 Radiocarbon Dating of Rock Paintings: Incorporating Pictographs into the Archaeological Record 565
Karen L. Steelman and Marvin W. Rowe

33 Twelve Years of Research in Chauvet Cave: Methodology and Main Results 583
Jean Clottes and Jean-Michel Geneste

34 In Suspect Terrain: Dating Rock Engravings 605
David S. Whitley

Part XI Rock Art in the Digital Age 625

35 Digital Enhancement of Deteriorated and Superimposed Pigment Art: Methods and Case Studies 627
Liam M. Brady and Robert G. Gunn

36 Robust and Scientifically Reliable Rock Art Documentation from Digital Photographs 644
Mark Mudge, Carla Schroer, Tommy Noble, Neffra Matthews, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, and Corey Toler-Franklin

37 Engaging a New Digital Citizenry 660
Michael Ashley and Cinzia Perlingieri

Index 670

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Jo McDonald’s career has combined cultural heritage management and rock art research. She is currently Chair and Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at the University of Western Australia. Her major research focus, funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, is comparing rock art of the Australian and North American arid zones. She is past-President of the Australian Archaeological Association and of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.

Peter Veth’s career has focused on the archaeology of Australia and Island Southeast Asia; and on global desert peoples and art in archaeological context. Peter is currently Chair in Archaeology at the University of Western Australia, an Adjunct Chair at the Australian National University, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Beginning with Islands in the Interior, he has published twelve volumes on the archaeology, art, early contact history, and native title of Australia and Island Southeast Asia. Peter has coauthored Plans of Management, National Heritage Listing reports and Outstanding Universal Values reports for art provinces in Australia.

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“To summarise, as stated by Conkey in the foreword, this volume is a clear example of how in the twenty-first century rock art is considered a topic of archaeological inquiry, leaving behind the times when it was excluded from the archaeological discussions because of its problematic dating and interpretation (see Whitley 2001 for details about the North American case; or Morwood 2002: 64-88 for the Australian case).”  (Archaeology In Oceania, 2 October 2013)

“Overall, this is a fine compendium, and all rock art researchers will need to read it. Aimed at a sophisticated audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Upper-level undergraduates and above.”  (Choice, 1 June 2013)

“A pertinent and stimulating collection of ideas, theory and research results under 11 core themes designed to contextualize rock art within the mainstream of archaeology.”
- Dr. Janette Deacon, Research Associate, Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand

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