Introduction To Rock Art Research, Second Edition / Edition 2

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First published in 2005, this brief introduction to methods of studying rock art has become the standard text for courses on this topic. It was also selected as a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Book in 2005. Internationally-known rock art researcher David Whitley takes the reader through the various processes needed to document, interpret, and preserve this fragile category of artifact. Using examples from around the globe, he offers a comprehensive guide to rock art studies of value to archaeologists and art historians, their students, and rock art aficionados. The second edition of this classic work has additional material on mapping sites, ethnographic analogy, neuropsychological models, and Native American consultation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Renowned rock art scholar and director of a major contract archaeology firm, Whitley provides the first textbook-level introduction to rock art research as a mainstream specialty in anthropological archaeology. Whitley writes in a very accessible and engaging style, but provides sufficient detail where appropriate. He covers the entire range of rock art research, including fieldwork, dating, interpretation, management, and conservation. He also provides a very useful glossary and a comprehensive bibliography. This volume is highly recommended not only for students and the general public learning about rock art research for the first time, but also for faculty and other specialists seeking an authoritative update on this rapidly maturing specialty. While the coverage is similar, libraries that own Whitley's much more technical edited volume Handbook of Rock Art Research would be well advised to add this new volume to their collections. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries"


"This new book by David Whitley is hugely readable by anybody interested in rock art, whether they be students, beginners, enthusiasts or seasoned professionals. His long experience doing field work, teaching and thinking about the ins and outs of research (not necessarily in that order!) has enabled him to produce a well-balanced extremely useful book."

—Jean Clottes, French Ministry of Culture

"David Whitley has written a wonderfully pragmatic book that places rock art studies in the mainstream of the rapidly changing archaeological world. This important guide is essential reading for both academic archaeologists and anyone concerned with heritage and site conservation. Strongly recommended as a fine starting point for student and professional alike."

—Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California Santa Barbara

"A basic, clearly written introduction to rock art research which advocates an integrated approach that involves much more than fieldwork."

—Oxbow Newsletter

"Formerly trivialized as ancient grafitti, rock art is now recognized as an important part of ancient cultures. This volume is a much-needed step in bringing it into the scholarly mainstream." —American Archaeology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598746112
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,054,683
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Whitley is one of the world’s leading experts on rock art. Whitley works in contract archaeology for ASM Affiliates. He has published extensively on rock art both at an academic and more popular level. His key books on this topic include Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit and Handbook of Rock Art Research. Whitley has done field work in the U.S., Guatemala, France, and South Africa, and has taught at the University of Witwatersrand and UCLA.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 7

List of Tables 9

Preface to the Second Edition 11

Preface to the First Edition 13

Chapter 1 Introduction 21

Chapter 2 Rock Art Fieldwork 37

Chapter 3 Classification 65

Chapter 4 Rock Art Dating 75

Chapter 5 Scientific Method and Rock Art Analysis 93

Chapter 6 Symbolic and Ethnographic Interpretation 101

Chapter 7 Neuropsychology and Rock Art 137

Chapter 8 Other Formal Approaches 151

Chapter 9 Management and Conservation 181

Chapter 10 Archaeology, Anthropology, and Rock Art 195

Appendix: Rock Art Recording Forms 199

Glossary 203

References 211

Index 249

About the Author 256

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