How values, prejudice, and social issues shape rock art research in North America.

Author(s): Polly Schaafsmsa; Curtis Schaafsma

Year: 2015


We present a brief history of rock art research in North America, identifying some of the social forces and schools of thought that have shaped these studies within and outside of the confines of traditional archaeology. Among relevant issues within academia are prevailing paradigms that aspire to specific goals and interests that orient archaeological research. Even when these interests and concerns would benefit from the analysais of prehistoric images made by the socio/cultural groups under investigation, rock art is often ignored or left up to the purview of active amateur rock art groups, who have enthusiastically embraced these endeavors, thereby creating a social division in the field of rock art research in North America. Also because rock art is an artifact of worldviews and social practices, in cases where there are living descendents, issues regarding interpretation and preservation have arisen. Problems encountered in these areas are considered.

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Cite this Record

How values, prejudice, and social issues shape rock art research in North America.. Curtis Schaafsma, Polly Schaafsmsa. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397141)


Paradigms Rock Art

Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;