Palaeoart and Materiality The Scientific Study of Rock Art
edited by Robert G. Bednarik, Danae Fiore, Mara Basile, Giriraj Kumar and Tang Huisheng. ii+254 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white with 6 colour plates. 267 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions.
Printed ISBN 9781784914295. £40.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784914301. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT)
This book contains a series of selected papers presented at two symposia entitled ‘Scientific study of rock art’, one held in the IFRAO Congress of Rock Art in La Paz, Bolivia, in June 2012, the other held in the IFRAO Congress in Cáceres, Spain, in September 2015; as well as some invited papers from leading rock art scientists. The core topic of the book is the presentation of scientific approaches to the materiality of rock art, ranging from recording and sampling methods to data analyses. These share the fact that they provide means of testing hypotheses and/or of finding trends in the data which can be used as independent sources of evidence to support specific interpretations. The issue of the materiality of visual productions of the distant past, which in archaeological theory has attracted much attention recently and has stimulated much conceptual debate, is addressed through a variety of scientific approaches, including fieldwork methods, laboratory work techniques and/or data analysis protocols. These, in turn, will provide new insights into human agency and people-image engagements through the study of rock art production, display and use.
About the Editors:
Robert G. Bednarik is the Convener and Editor-in-Chief of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations and is affiliated with Hebei Normal University, China. His principal research interests are the origins of the human ability to create constructs of reality, the evolution of humans, and in a variety of fields providing supplementary information in that quest, including the world’s rock art. He has produced more than 1350 academic publications.
Dr Danae Fiore is a researcher at Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas, Argentina, and a lecturer at Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her main interests are focused on the archaeology of rock art, portable art and body art viewed from technological, economic and cognitive perspectives; hunter-gatherer archaeology; archaeological theory and methods; and visual archaeology (the study of indigenous material culture through ethnographic photographs).
Dr Mara Basile is an archaeologist and a researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, Argentina. She has been a member of the Archaeological Project Chaschuil Abaucán (www.proyectopacha.com.ar) since 2002. Her main research interest is to delineate the visual languages that circulated in different expressive media over time in the region of Fiambalá (Catamarca, Argentina).
Dr Giriraj Kumar is Professor in Rock Art Science and Indian Culture and Founding Secretary General and Editor, Rock Art Society of India (estd. 1990), carrying out scientific research on early Indian petroglyphs and their dating in collaboration with Australian and other scientists. He published a book on Indian rock art and more than eighty research papers on Stone Age Indian rock art and culture.
Dr Tang Huisheng is the Director of the International Centre of Rock Art Dating and Conservation, Hebei Normal University, China. He also teaches as a Professor at the of Archaeology Department of Nanjing Normal University. His principal interests are the rock art of China and its dating, and the Chinese Neolithic period.