A fine-grained analysis of the macropod motif in the rock art of the Sydney region, Australia

31st May 2015

Examples of stylistic categories of macropods: (a) naturalistic, (b) perceptual, (c) schematic and (d) intended (published in Australian Archaeology 80:50).

Examples of stylistic categories of macropods: (a) naturalistic, (b) perceptual, (c) schematic and (d) intended (published in Australian Archaeology 80:50).

Alandra K. Tasire and Iain Davidson

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a fine-grained analysis of variation in the macropod motif across the Sydney region demonstrates similar or different patterns when compared with previous stylistic studies of the area. Here we discuss the figurative representation of the macropod motif. We discuss the syntax of the rock art using concepts of conventions, language and symbols to interpret macropod stylistic representation. We show how a fine-grained assessment of both frequencies of design elements and measurements of shape complements previous regional stylistic studies by demonstrating how stylistic regions are multilayered and not definite. The paper suggests new stylistic zones that future work can test, and demonstrates that these zones do not correspond simply with one widely used reconstruction of language distributions.

Tasire, A. and I. Davidson
A fine-grained analysis of the macropod motif in the rock art of the Sydney region, Australia
June 2015
80
48-59
Article
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