1932

Abstract

This article reviews recent ontological debates in archaeology and examines how ontology has been discussed in rock art studies. It questions the prevailing symbolic analysis of rock art and critically questions the epistemological foundations of “informed” and “formal” approaches to rock art. The article evaluates ontological debates within rock art studies and argues for a committed approach to ontology that uses anthropological understandings of ontology as an analytical tool and a method for generating fresh concepts. The article then reviews the ontological dimensions of a series of aspects of rock art studies, including the production of rock art images, their placement on the rock surface, their position in the landscape, and their relationship to formation processes. The article concludes by arguing that ontological questions not only relate to the interpretation of rock art images, but touch on all aspects of rock art.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102116-041354
2017-10-23
2024-04-13
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/anthro/46/1/annurev-anthro-102116-041354.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102116-041354&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Alberti B. 2013. Relational ontologies. See Alberti et al. 2013 37–42
  2. Alberti B. 2016. Archaeologies of ontology. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 45:163–79 [Google Scholar]
  3. Alberti B, Bray T. 2009. Introduction. Camb. Archaeol. J. 19:3337–43 [Google Scholar]
  4. Alberti B, Jones AM, Pollard J. eds; 2013. Archaeology After Interpretation. Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press [Google Scholar]
  5. Allen W, O'Regan G, Fletcher P, Noganosh R. 2013. Dibéwagendamowin/Kārohirohi: reflections on sacred images on the rocks. Making Senses of the Past. Towards a Sensory Archaeology J Day 32–48 Carbondale: South. Ill. Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  6. Back Danielsson I-M, Fahlander F, Sjöstrand Y. 2012. Encountering Imagery: Materialities, Perceptions, Relations Stockholm: Stockholm Univ. Press
  7. Bahn PG. 2010. Prehistoric Rock Art: Polemics and Progress Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  8. Boivin N. 2004. Rock art and rock music: petroglyphs of the south Indian Neolithic. Antiquity 78:29938–53 [Google Scholar]
  9. Borić D. 2013. Theater of predation: beneath the skin of Göbekli Tepe images. See Watts 2013 42–64
  10. Bradley R. 1989. Deaths and entrances: a contextual analysis of megalithic art. Curr. Anthropol. 30:168–75 [Google Scholar]
  11. Bradley R. 1997. Rock Art and the Prehistory of Atlantic Europe: Signing the Land London: Routledge
  12. Bradley R. 2001. The authority of abstraction: knowledge and power in the landscape of prehistoric Europe. Theoretical Perspectives in Rock Art Research K Helskog 227–41 Oslo: Novus Forlag [Google Scholar]
  13. Bradley R, Watson A, Anderson-Whymark H. 2012. Excavations at four prehistoric rock carvings on the Ben Lawers Estate, 2007–2010. Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 142:27–62 [Google Scholar]
  14. Brady LM, Bradley JJ. 2014. Reconsidering regional rock art styles: exploring cultural and relational understandings in northern Australia's Gulf country. J. Soc. Archaeol. 14:361–82 [Google Scholar]
  15. Brady LM, Bradley JJ. 2016. ‘Who do you want to kill?’: affectual and relational understandings at a sorcery rock art site in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. J. R. Anthropol. Inst. 22:884–901 [Google Scholar]
  16. Brady LM, Bradley JJ, Kearney AJ. 2016. Negotiating Yanyuwa rock art: relational and affectual experiences in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. Curr. Anthropol. 57:28–52 [Google Scholar]
  17. Brown LA, Walker WH. 2008. Prologue: archaeology, animism and non-human agents. J. Archaeol. Method Theory 15:4297–99 [Google Scholar]
  18. Chippindale C, Nash G. 2004. The Figured Landscapes of Rock Art: Looking at Pictures in Place Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  19. Chippindale C, Taçon PSC. 1998. The Archaeology of Rock-Art Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  20. Clottes J. 2008. Cave Art London: Phaidon
  21. Clottes J, Lewis-Williams D. 1998. The Shamans of Prehistory: Trance and Magic in the Painted Caves New York: Harry Abrams
  22. Cochrane A, Jones AM. 2012a. Visualising the Neolithic Oxford, UK: Oxbow
  23. Cochrane A, Jones AM. 2012b. Visualising the Neolithic: an introduction. See Cochrane & Jones 2012a 1–14
  24. Conkey M. 1980. The identification of hunter-gatherer aggregation sites—the case of Altamira. Curr. Anthropol. 21:609–30 [Google Scholar]
  25. Conneller C. 2011. An Archaeology of Materials. Substantial Transformations in Early Prehistoric Europe London: Routledge
  26. Creese JL. 2011. Algonquian rock art and the landscape of power. J. Soc. Archaeol. 11:13–20 [Google Scholar]
  27. David B. 2006. Archaeology and the Dreaming: toward an archaeology of ontology. See Lilley 2006 48–68
  28. Delannoy J-J, David B, Geneste J-M, Katherine M, Barker B. et al. 2013. The social construction of caves and rock shelters: Chauvet Cave (France) and Nawarla Gabarnmang (Australia).. Antiquity 87:12–29 [Google Scholar]
  29. Deleuze G, Guattari F. 2009. What Is Philosophy? transl. H Tomlinson, G Burchill London: Verso
  30. Descola P. 2013. Beyond Nature and Culture Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  31. Díaz-Guardamino M, García Sanjuán L, Wheatley D, Rodríguez Zamora V. 2015. RTI and the study of engraved rock art: a re-examination of the Iberian south-western Stelae of Setefilla and Almadén de la Plata 2 (Seville, Spain). Digit. Appl. Archaeol. Cult. Herit. 2:41–54 [Google Scholar]
  32. Dorn RI. 1994. Dating petroglyphs with a 3-tier rock varnish approach. New Light on Old Art. Advances in Hunter-Gatherer Rock Art Research DS Whitley, LL Loendorf 2–36 UCLA Inst. Archaeol. Monogr. Ser. 36 Los Angeles: Univ. Calif. Press [Google Scholar]
  33. Dowson TA. 2009. Re-animating hunter-gatherer rock art research. Camb. Archaeol. J. 19:3378–87 [Google Scholar]
  34. Eogan G. 1986. Knowth and the Passage Tombs of Ireland London: Thames and Hudson
  35. Forge A. 1973a. Primitive Art and Society Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
  36. Forge A. 1973b. Style and meaning in Sepik Art. See Forge 1973a 169–92
  37. Fowler C. 2013. The Emergent Past. A Relational Realist Archaeology of Early Bronze Age Mortuary Practices Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press
  38. Fowles S, Alberti B. 2016. Surface revelations: ecologies and epistemologies of rock art. Anthropology of the Arts: A Reader G Bakke, M Peterson 107–16 London: Bloomsbury [Google Scholar]
  39. Fowles S, Arterberry J. 2013. Gesture and performance in Comanche rock art. World Art 3:167–82 [Google Scholar]
  40. Gjerde JM. 2010. Rock Art and Landscapes: Studies of Stone Age Art from Northern Fennoscandia Tromsø: Univ. Tromsø Press
  41. Goldhahn J. 2002. Roaring rocks: an audio-visual perspective on hunter-gatherer engravings in northern Sweden and Scandinavia. Nor. Archaeol. Rev. 35:129–61 [Google Scholar]
  42. Goldhahn J. 2012. In the wake of a voyager. Feet, boats and death rituals in the North European Bronze Age. Image, Memory and Monumentality: Archaeological Engagements with the Material World AM Jones, J Pollard, M Allen, J Gardiner 218–32 Oxford, UK: Oxbow [Google Scholar]
  43. Goldhahn J. 2016. Sagaholm: North European Bronze Age Rock Art and Burial Ritual Oxford, UK: Oxbow
  44. Hamilakis Y. 2013. Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory and Affect Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  45. Harrison R. 2011. Archaeologies ‘now’. Creative interventions in the present for the future. Archaeol. Dialogues 18:2180–96 [Google Scholar]
  46. Helskog K. 1999. The shore connection. Cognitive landscape and communication with rock carvings in northernmost Europe. Nor. Archaeol. Rev. 32:273–94 [Google Scholar]
  47. Helskog K. 2004. Landscapes in rock art: rock carving and ritual in the old European North. See Chippindale & Nash 2004 265–85
  48. Helskog K. 2014. Communicating with the World of Beings: The World Heritage Rock Art Sites in Alta, Arctic Norway Oxford, UK: Oxbow
  49. Heyd T. 2012. Rock “art” and art: why aesthetics should matter. A Companion to Rock Art J McDonald, P Veth 276–93 Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell [Google Scholar]
  50. Hiscock P, Veth P. 1991. Change in the Australian desert culture: a reanalysis of tulas from Puntutjarpa rockshelter. World Archaeol 22:3332–45 [Google Scholar]
  51. Ingold T. 2011. Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description London: Routledge
  52. Jones AM. 2015. Meeting the past halfway. A consideration of the ontology of material evidence. Material Evidence. Learning from Archaeological Practice R Chapman, A. Wylie 324–38 London: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  53. Jones AM, Freedman D, O'Connor B, Lamdin-Whymark H, Tipping R, Watson A. 2011. An Animate Landscape. Rock Art and the Prehistory of Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland Oxford, UK: Windgather
  54. Kohn T. 2015. Anthropology of ontologies. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 44:311–27 [Google Scholar]
  55. Lahelma A. 2008. A Touch of Red. Archaeological and Ethnographic Approaches to Interpreting Finnish Rock Paintings ISKOS. Vol. 15 Helsinki: Finn. Antiq. Soc.
  56. Lahelma A. 2010. Hearing and touching rock art: Finnish rock paintings and the non-visual. Changing Pictures. Rock Art Traditions and Visions in Northern Europe J Goldhahn, I Fuglestvedt, A Jones 48–59 Oxford, UK: Oxbow [Google Scholar]
  57. Lewis-Williams D. 2000. The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art London: Thames and Hudson
  58. Lewis-Williams D, Pearce D. 2009. Inside the Neolithic Mind London: Thames and Hudson
  59. Lewis-Williams JD. 2001. South African Shamanistic rock art in its social and cognitive contexts. The Archaeology of Shamanism N Price 17–39 London: Routledge [Google Scholar]
  60. Lewis-Williams JD, Dowson TA. 1990. Through the veil: San rock paintings and the rock face. S. Afr. Archaeol. Bull. 45:5–16 [Google Scholar]
  61. Lilley I. 2006. Archaeology of Oceania: Australia and the Pacific Islands Malden, MA:; Wiley-Blackwell
  62. Ling J. 2008. Elevated Rock Art. Towards a Maritime Understanding of Bronze Age Rock Art in Northern Bohuslän, Sweden Göteborg, Swed.: GOTARC Ser. B. Gothenburg Archaeol Thesis 49
  63. Lorblanchet M. 1989. From man to animal and sign in Palaeolithic art. Animals Into Art H Morphy 109–43 London: Unwin Hyman [Google Scholar]
  64. Lucas G. 2012. Understanding the Archaeological Record Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  65. McDonald J, Veth P. 2006. Rock art and social identity: a comparison of Holocene Graphic systems in arid and fertile environments. See Lilley 2006 96–115
  66. Morphy H. 1991. Ancestral Connections. Art and an Aboriginal System of Knowledge Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  67. Morphy H. 2006. Becoming Art: Exploring Cross-Cultural Categories Oxford, UK: Berg
  68. Munn N. 1973. The spatial presentation of cosmic order in Walbiri Iconography. See Forge 1973a 193–220
  69. Myers FR. 2002. Painting Culture. The Making of an Aboriginal High Art. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press
  70. Nimura C. 2015. Prehistoric Rock Art in Scandinavia: Agency and Environmental Change Oxford, UK: Oxbow
  71. Olivier L. 1999. Duration, memory, and the nature of the archaeological record. Glyfer och Arkeologiska Rum—En Vänbok till Jarl Nordbladh A Gustafsson, H Karlsson 529–36 Göteborg, Swed.: Göteborg Univ., Dep. Archaeol. [Google Scholar]
  72. Olsen B. 2010. In Defense of Things: Archaeology and the Ontology of Objects Lanham, MD: Altamira
  73. Olsen B, Shanks M, Webmoor T, Witmore C. 2012. Archaeology: The Discipline of Things Berkeley: Univ. Calif. Press
  74. Pauketat TR. 2007. Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press
  75. Pike AWG, Hoffman DL, Garcia-Diez M, Pettit PB, Alcolea J. et al. 2012. U-series dating of Palaeolithic art in 11 caves in Spain. Science 336:1409–13 [Google Scholar]
  76. Porr M, Bell HR. 2012. ‘Rock-art’, ‘animism’ and two-way thinking: towards a complementary epistemology in the understanding of material culture and ‘rock-art’ of hunting and gathering people. J. Archaeol. Method Theory 19:1161–205 [Google Scholar]
  77. Reznikoff I. 2006. The evidence of the use of sound resonance from Palaeolithic to Medieval times. See Scarre & Lawson 2006 77–84
  78. Robin G. 2010. Spatial structures and symbolic systems in Irish and British passage tombs: the organization of architectural elements, parietal carved signs and funerary deposits. Camb. Archaeol. J. 20:373–418 [Google Scholar]
  79. Robinson D. 2004. Mirror of the sun. Surface, mineral applications and interface in California rock-art. Soils, Stones and Symbols. Cultural Perceptions of the Mineral World N Boivin, M-A Owoc 91–106 London: UCL Press [Google Scholar]
  80. Robinson D. 2012. Discussion: personality and Neolithic visual media. See Cochrane & Jones 2012a 291–300
  81. Robinson DW. 2013. Transmorphic being, corresponding affect: ontology and rock art in South-Central California. See Alberti et al. 2013 59–78
  82. Ross M. 2001. Emerging trends in rock-art research: hunter–gatherer culture, land and landscape. Antiquity 75:543–48 [Google Scholar]
  83. Salmond AJM. 2013. Transforming translations (part 1): ‘the owner of these bones’. HAU: J. Ethnogr. Theory 8:1–32 [Google Scholar]
  84. Scarre C, Lawson G. 2006. Archaeoacoustics Cambridge, UK: McDonald Inst. Archaeol. Res.
  85. Shapland A. 2013. Shifting horizons and emerging ontologies in the Bronze Age Aegean. See Watts 2013 190–208
  86. Skoglund P, Ling J, Bertilsson U. 2015. Picturing the Bronze Age Oxford, UK: Oxbow
  87. Smith B, Blundell G. 2004. Dangerous ground: a critique of landscape in rock-art studies. See Chippindale & Nash 2004 239–59
  88. Snead JE. 2008. Ancestral Landscapes of the Pueblo World Tucson: Univ. Ariz. Press
  89. Stewart K. 2007. Ordinary Affects Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press
  90. Taçon P. 1992. ‘If you miss all this story, well bad luck’ rock art and the validity of ethnographic interpretation in western Arnhem land, Australia. Rock Art and Ethnography: Proceedings of the Ethnography Symposium MJ Morwood, DR Hobbs 11–18 Melbourne: Aust. Rock Art Res. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  91. Taçon P, Chippindale C. 1994. Australia's ancient warriors: changing depictions of fighting in the rock art of Arnhem Land, N.T. Camb. Archaeol. J. 4:2211–48 [Google Scholar]
  92. Taçon PSC. 2008. Rainbow colour and power among the Waanyi of northwest Queensland. Camb. Archaeol. J. 18:2163–76 [Google Scholar]
  93. Taçon PSC, Chippindale C. 1998. An archaeology of rock-art through informed methods and formal methods. See Chippindale & Taçon 1998 1–10
  94. Taylor L. 1996. Seeing the Inside: Bark Painting in Western Arnhem Land Oxford, UK: Clarendon
  95. Thomas J. 2015. The future of archaeological theory. Antiquity 89:1287–96 [Google Scholar]
  96. Tilley C. 1993. Material Culture and Text: The Art of Ambiguity London: Routledge
  97. Vergara F, Troncoso A. 2015. Rock art, technique and technology: an exploratory study of hunter-gatherer and agrarian communities in Pre-Hispanic Chile (500 to 1450 CE). Rock Art Res 32:31–45 [Google Scholar]
  98. Viveiros de Castro E. 1998. Cosmological deixis and Amerindian perspectivism. J. R. Anthropol. Inst. 4:469–88 [Google Scholar]
  99. Viveiros de Castro E. 2013. The relative native, transl. J Sauma, M Holbraad. HAU: J. Ethnogr. Theory 3:45–168 [Google Scholar]
  100. Waller SJ. 1993. Sound and rock art. Nature 363:501 [Google Scholar]
  101. Waller SJ. 2006. Intentionality of rock-art placement deduced from acoustical measurements and echo myths. See Scarre & Lawson 2006 31–40
  102. Waller SJ, Arsenault D. 2008. Echo spirits who paint rocks: Memegwashio dwell within echoing rock art site EiGf-2. Am. Indian Rock Art 34:191–201 [Google Scholar]
  103. Watson C. 2003. Piercing the Ground: Balgo Women's Image Making and Relationship to Country Fremantle, Aust.: Fremantle Arts Cent. Press
  104. Watts C. 2013. Relational Archaeologies. Humans. Animals. Things London: Routledge
  105. Weismantel M. 2015. Seeing like an archaeologist: Viveiros de Castro at Chavín de Huántar. J. Soc. Archaeol. 15:2139–59 [Google Scholar]
  106. Whitley D. 2000. The Art of the Shaman: Rock Art of California Salt Lake City: Univ. Utah Press
  107. Wobst HM. 1977. Stylistic behaviour and information exchange. For the Director: Research Essays in Honour of J.B. Griffin C Cleland 317–42 Anthropol. Pap. 61 Ann Arbor: Mus. Anthropol., Univ. Mich. [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102116-041354
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error