Predation and Production in the Rock Art of the Middle Orinoco: Food for Thought

Author(s): Kay Scaramelli

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Intangible Dimensions of Food in the Caribbean Ancient and Recent Past" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The interpretation of rock art is fraught with difficulties, even when images may appear to be easily identified with cultural objects or elements found in nature. When considering the possible meaning of images of animals, plants, and artifacts depicted in the rock paintings and petroglyphs in the Middle Orinoco, we propose that an ethnographically informed approach may offer potentially fruitful insights into the symbolism related to food procurement, production, and consumption. By viewing the rock art in its broad social and geo-environmental setting, and as an integral participant in the conformation and structuration of the indigenous landscape, we will explore its possible role through time in 1) the mediation of the relations between predator and prey/society and nature, and 2) activities related to agricultural production and consumption. The use of rock art motifs in other media, such as body paint and stamps, basketry, maracas, and, to a lesser degree, ceramics, points to a ritual complex that permeated daily life as it related to food production and consumption in its broader context of societal reproduction, wellbeing and health.

Cite this Record

Predation and Production in the Rock Art of the Middle Orinoco: Food for Thought. Kay Scaramelli. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450601)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -81.914; min lat: -18.146 ; max long: -31.421; max lat: 11.781 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23201