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Embodied rock art motifs in far west Texas and northern South Africa

Author(s): Jamie Hampson

Year: 2017

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In this paper, I consider embodied rock art motifs in two rock art regions: far west Texas and northern South Africa. By employing the tools of embodiment theory, certain motifs in both regions can usefully be seen as expressions of how indigenous ontologies were perceived, how things were, and how identities were tied to physical beings and manifestations of physical beings. As with research on ritualistic ontologies and the process of making rock art, embodiment theory can help us overcome the tendency in rock art studies to treat the original image-makers as reactive viewers of their own handiwork. A key point is that, once created, pictographs and petroglyphs are symbolic manifestations and powerful things in themselves; they are not mere ‘reflections’ of either natural or supernatural phenomena.

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Embodied rock art motifs in far west Texas and northern South Africa. Jamie Hampson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430596)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14600

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America