Exploring Nevada rock art as a social landscape
Author(s): Angus Quinlan
Approximately 1,500 rock art sites that broadly span the Archaic have been identified in Nevada. Regional and temporal differences in site structure, rock art styles, landscape settings, and associated archaeological contexts are discernible in these data, offering insights into Great Basin culture history and the categorization of the environment as a social landscape by prehistoric populations. Traditional approaches to Nevada rock art have often emphasized interpretation at the expense of explanation, seeking rock art’s cultural significance or "meaning" in subjective considerations of its imagery. As Nevada rock art marks only a small percentage of the landscapes prehistoric populations are known to have used, I argue that understanding what made these locations appropriate places to be marked by rock art is a research theme that can address mainstream archaeological interests in describing the structure of past landscape use. Relating Nevada’s rock art to the physical environment and settlement patterns provides information about the structure and properties of special places in the landscape, and illustrates that the use of culturally significant places was a consideration in residential mobility strategies.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
Cite this Record
Exploring Nevada rock art as a social landscape. Angus Quinlan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395810)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;