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.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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