Rather than considering the myths supposedly depicted in the world's rock art, this book examines the myths archaeologists and others have created about the meanings and significance of rock art. This vast body of opinions dominates our concepts of the principal surviving cultural manifestations of early worldviews. Here these constructs are subjected to detailed analysis and are found to consist largely of misinterpretations. From the misidentification of natural rock markings as rock art to mistaken interpretations, from sensationalist claims to pareidolic elucidations of iconographies, the book presents numerous examples of myths researchers have created about pre-Historic ‘art’. The claims about a connection between rock art and the neuropathologies of its producers are assessed, and the neuroscience of rock art interpretation is reviewed. The book presents a comprehensive catalogue of falsities claimed about palaeoart, and it endeavours to explain how these arose, and how they can be guarded against by recourse to basic principles of science. It therefore represents a key resource in the scientific study of rock art.
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 9.75(h) x 0.50(d)|
Table of Contents
A Little Epistemology: IntroductionEpistemology of archaeologySetting the sceneAnimals and Pareidolia: Tales of dragonsIdentifying zoomorphsArchaeological Folklores about Dating: The bulls and horses of IberiaThe Palaeolithic obsessionMyths about rock art ageArchaeological excavationAxiomatic Confusions: Misidentification of non-anthropic rock markings‘Explanations’ of cupulesOther mistaken interpretationsThe Venus figurinesSensationalist Myths and Fringe Legends: Sensationalist claimsThe writing on the wallSeeing things: pareidoliaReaching for stars and godsThe importance of being PalaeolithicRock Art Fairy Tales: About shamanism and rock artMyths about mythologiesNeuropathologies and rock artSinister myths about rock artGeneric Issues: Effects of fakes, misconceptions and falsitiesNeuroscience and ‘identifications’ in rock art interpretationThe myths are here to stayConclusion