Ritual Space and Ritual Place in California Rock Art

Author(s): David Whitley

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Art and Archaeology of the West: Papers in Honor of Lawrence L. Loendorf" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Larry Loendorf has always emphasized that rock art research is nothing if it is not also archaeology. Much of his research has accordingly considered the importance of the (dirt) archaeological context of rock art sites, and what this can tell us about the art. In the spirit of this concern, the archaeological contexts of three different corpora of California rock art (Coso Range, Southern Sierra, and Chumash region) are considered in terms of the distinctions between ritual spaces versus ritual places, and what this implies about ritual and political power across this portion of the far west. As these examples demonstrate, while the origin of the art may in each case appear similar, the landscape context of the art and its relationship to the remainder of the archaeological record provides important clues to its larger social and political function.

Cite this Record

Ritual Space and Ritual Place in California Rock Art. David Whitley. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451147)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23230