Investigating relationships between motif forms, techniques and rock surfaces in north Australian rock art

31st December 2013

Bruno David, Melita Lecole, Harry Lourandos, Anthony Baglioni Jr and Josephine Flood

Introduction*

Painted anthropomorphs in Garnawala 1 (published in Australian Archaeology 48:17).

Painted anthropomorphs in Garnawala 1 (published in Australian Archaeology 48:17).

As with many other parts of the world, rock art research has blossomed in Australia since the mid-1980s. There are undoubtedly many reasons for this, including the formation of new national and international rock art organisations and a growing sense of confidence in the archaeological ability to characterise rock art practices in both space and time (these two trends are presumably related). Until recently many archaeologists tended largely to ignore rock art as it could not easily be dated, and therefore could not easily be situated within regional models of prehistory. The advent of AMS radiocarbon dating on tiny amounts of carbon, such as is sometimes available in charcoal drawings, organic binders contained within pigments, and stratified oxalates located either immediately beneath or above rock art, changed this by offering archaeologists a means by which the antiquity of artistic expressions could realistically be investigated (e.g. Ilger et al. 1995, 1996; Van de Merwe et al. 1987; Watchman 1993; Watchman and Cole 1993; but see McDonald et al. 1990).

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

David, B., M. Lecole, H. Lourandos, A.J. Baglioni Jr and J. Flood
Investigating relationships between motif forms, techniques and rock surfaces in north Australian rock art
June 1999
48
16–22
Article
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