Session: #361

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Rock Art Technology: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches. Part 2
Rock art can be understood as a communication system that, through the representation of images, allows the transmission of specific information to observers who know the norms of the graphic code. Examples of this prehistoric cultural manifestation can be found throughout Europe, both in the depths of Paleolithic caves, as in the Franco-Cantabrian region, and open-air sites, such as those found in the Alps region or in Scandinavia. Since the beginning of rock art studies, in the late 19th century, technology has remained a marginal issue, often being considered as an element linked to the mere description of figures and not precisely as a research problem. Faced with this reality, in this session we intend to discuss technical and economic aspects of technological processes that led to the materialization of rock art, in order to contribute on the construction of consistent theoretical and methodological frameworks applicable to the study of different types of prehistoric visual representations around the world. Since rock art production is usually oriented towards the elaboration of tools, paint, and images –according to norms deeply related to specific social and symbolic contexts– we intend to present case studies related to all stages of the technological process, from raw materials procurement strategies to the selection of the bedrock and the manufacture, use and discard/abandonment of the elements involved in the various stages of each chaîne opératoire. Thus, submissions will be welcome on a variety of topics, including: archaeometric studies on the provenance and composition of pigments; experimental and/or traceological approaches on the technical procedures of rock art production; discussions on the relevance of landscape in the rock art chaîne opératoire; and ethnographic perspectives on the symbolic aspects of the rock art technology.
Rock art, Technology, Chaîne opératoire, Archaeometry, Experimental Archaeology, Theory and Method
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Main organiser:
Neemias Santos da Rosa (Spain) 1
Lidia Zotkina (Russia) 2
1. University of Barcelona
2. Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences