Ambiguous Images: Gender and Rock Art
Ambiguous Images: Gender and Rock Art

Ambiguous Images: Gender and Rock Art

by Kelley Hays-Gilpin


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What does rock art say about gender and how can our understanding of gender shape the way that we view rock art? A significant contribution to the relatively unexplored field of gender in rock art, this volume contains a wealth of information for archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians interested in past gender systems. Hays-Gilpin argues that art is at once a product of its physical and social environment and at the same time a tool of influence in shaping behavior and ideas within a society. Taking this stance, rock art is shown to be very often one of the strongest lines of evidence avaliable to scholars in understanding ritual practices, gender roles, and ideologicial constructs of prehistoric peoples. Subsequently issues of representation and the people who made these forms of art are also discussed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759100640
Publisher: AltaMira Press
Publication date: 11/28/2003
Series: Gender and Archaeology Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Kelley Hays-Gilpin teaches archaeology, ceramic analysis, and a rock art course at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, just hours from Petrified Forest National Park and her favorite rock art. She received her PhD in anthropology at the University of Arizona in 1992, then worked for the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department for several years. She has co-authored books on prehistoric sandals of northern Arizona and pottery of Arizona's Puerco Valley, and co-edited the Reader in Gender Archaeology with David S. Whitley. Current projects include collaboration with the Museum of Northern Arizon, Harvard Peabody Museum, and the Hopi Tribe on the Southwest Mural Project, a multidisciplinary study of 15th-17th century dry fresco painting from the Puebloan region.

Table of Contents

Part 1 List of Figures Part 2 Foreword Part 3 Preface Chapter 4 Chapter 1: Rock Art and Gender on the Margins Chapter 5 Chapter 2: Recognizing Sex and Gender Chapter 6 Chapter 3: Engendering and Degendering Paleolithic Europe's Cave Paintings Chapter 7 Chapter 4: Regendering Fertility Shrines in the West Chapter 8 Chapter 5: Separate Spheres: Who Made Rock Art? Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Lifecycles and Puberty Rites Chapter 10 Chapter 7: "Maidens" and Fluteplayers in the Southwestern United States Chapter 11 Chapter 8: Sacred Landscapes and Social Landscapes Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Women, Men, Ritual and Rock Art Chapter 13 Chapter 10: Shamans with History Chapter 14 Chapter 11: Taking Rock Art Seriously Part 15 References Part 16 About the Author

What People are Saying About This

David S. Whitley

With this book American rock art research comes of age. Far from a rock art-book-about-rock art, this instead is a book on how rock art informs us about prehistoric gender and social life. It is essential reading for anyone interested in symbolism, prehistoric art, feminist theory or western North American prehistory.

Polly Schaafsma

Ambiguous Images is a timely volume in which Kelley Hays-Gilpin covers a wide range of issues as she challenges popular and past stereotypes about rock art and gender—topics she describes as often marginal to the archaeological community. Yet perceptions of sex and gender affect social processes, life cycles, politics, economics, religion, and world views. Drawing on rock art throughout the world, Hays-Gilpin points the way and lays out routes for the dynamic use of rock art imagery as a creative avenue of discovery into richly gendered worlds of the past. This is an exciting addition to the fast-growing literature on gender in archaeology.

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