Palaeolithic Cave Art at Creswell Crags in European Context

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Cave art is a subject of perennial interest among archaeologists. It was once assumed that it was largely restricted to southern France and northern Iberia, but recent discoveries have demonstrated that it originally had a much wider distribution. In 2003 the first British examples of cave art, in two caves at Creswell Crags on the Derbyshire/ Nottinghamshire border, were discovered by the editors of the present volume. This book is the product of a conference in the village of Creswell in 2004, which brought together a number of Palaeolithic archaeologists and rock art specialists from across the world to study the Creswell art and debate its significance, and its similarities and contrasts with contemporary Late Pleistocene ('Ice Age') art on the Continent.

The papers in this book fully contextualize the Creswell discoveries, which have changed our perception of Upper Palaeolithic cave art as well as of the hunter-gatherer societies that created it. Studies examine the local archaeology at Creswell, the archaeology of caves in the region, and the cave art of Western and Central Europe that is believed to be contemporary with the 13,000-14,000 year old Creswell art. Other papers cover the history of research at Creswell Crags, the scientific basis on which the age of the art is known, and some current issues in cave art research. This fully illustrated record of a vital discovery will be of interest to archaeologists, prehistorians, and rock art specialists, as well as to general readers who wish to be informed about this fascinating aspect of Britain's prehistory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A nice overview of the engravings found in the Creswell Caves.... This volume will be of value to anyone with a serious interest in Ice Age cave art."—Danny A. Brass, NNS News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199299171
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/27/2007
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Pettitt is Lecturer in Human Origins, University of Sheffield. Paul Bahn is an independent researcher. Sergio Ripoll is Lecturer in Archaeology at the Spanish Open University (UNED) in Madrid.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates ix

List of Illustrations x

List of Tables xvi

1 The Historical Background to the Discovery of Cave Art at Creswell Crags Paul G. Bahn 1

2 The Palaeolithic Rock Art of Creswell Crags: Prelude to a Systematic Study Sergio Ripoll Francisco J. Muñoz 14

3 Verification of the Age of the Palaeolithic Cave Art at Creswell Crags Alistair W. G Pike Mabs Gilmour Paul B. Pettitt 34

4 3D Laser Scanning at Church Hole, Creswell Crags Alistair Carty 46

5 Zoological Perspectives on the Late Glacial D. W. Yalden 53

6 Cave Archaeology and Palaeontology in the Creswell Region Andrew T. Chamberlain 61

7 The Stone Age Archaeology of Church Hole, Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire R. M. Jacobi 71

8 Cultural Context and Form of Some of the Creswell Images: An Interpretative Model Paul B. Pettitt 112

9 The Engravings of Gouy: France's Northernmost Decorated Cave Yves Martin 140

10 Palaeolithic Art in Isolation: The Case of Sicily and Sardinia Margherita Mussi 194

11 The Horse in the Palaeolithic Parietal Art of the Quercy: Outline of a Stylistic Study Michel Lorblanchet 207

12 A Topographical Approach to Parietal Figures: The Monumental Sculptures of the Roc-aux-Sorciers (Vienne, France) Produced in Daylight at the Back of a Rockshelter and on its Ceiling Geneviéve PinÇon 229

13 Dating Magdalenian Art in North Spain: The Current Situation César González Sainz 247

14 Rock Art and the Côa Valley Archaeological Park: A Case Study in the Preservation of Portugal's Prehistoric Rupestral Heritage António Martinho Baptista António Pedro Batarda Fernandes 263

15 Rewriting the History Books: The Magdalenian Art of Creswell Crags Claire Fisher Rob Dinnis 280

Index 287

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