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Rock Art Categorization

Author(s): Livio Dobrez

Year: 2017

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Rock Art Categorization

Over the past ten years I have sought to elaborate a new categorization for rock art images and one based on analysis of visual perception bolstered by cognitive psychology experiments and current knowledge of visual system neurophysiology. The result has been a suggestion for three classes of image, viz the Canonical (mostly profile), Narrative (scene), and Performative (frontal). At the same time Patricia Dobrez has added two possible classes represented by hand traces and by tracks. In this paper I will give an account of this categorization, focussing on the idea of a scene. I would also like to ask whether any of the above classes might claim historical priority, whether any might have some sort of originatory claim, and whether any might offer specific insights into human cognitive or aesthetic development.


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Rock Art Categorization. Livio Dobrez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430858)


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Abstract Id(s): 14667

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