The origins of rock art in Australia are probably as old as that of the hunter-gatherers of Western Europe, well-known for the prehistoric caves of Altamira and Lascaux. That the practice of painting and engraving on rocks continues in parts of northern and central Australia emphasises the importance of this art as a source of visual information for Australia's indigenous communities, Rock art can be 'read' to determine cultural processes and provides a durable record of thousands of years of cultural change. This book is an extensive survey of Australian rock art, presenting detailed case studies revealing the significance of both recent and ancient art for Australia's living indigenous communities. Archaeological data provides evidence of the ways in which rock art traditions have changed over 15,000 or more years in response to changes in the environment, the development of new forms of social organisation and the impact of European colonial settlement.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
Table of ContentsList of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgements; 1. Anthropological and archaeological approaches to Australian rock art; 2. Rock art and indigenous religion; 3. Rock art as an expression of secular and subversive themes; 4. Rock art and the colonial impact; 5. Putting statements in their cultural context; 6. Figure and motif; 7. Stylistic variations in time and space; 8. Rock art and human adaptation in Australia; Appendices; Notes; Glossary; References; Index.