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Early rock art of the American west: the geometric enigma

By: Dissanayake, Ellen Malotki, Ekkehart

029574362X / 9780295743622
229 x 254 mm 309 pages

The earliest rock artin the Americas as elsewhereis geometric or abstract.

UntilEarly Rock Art in the American West,however, no book-length study has been devoted to the deep antiquity and amazing range of geometrics and the fascinating questions that arise from their ubiquity and variety.

Why did they precede representational marks? What is known about their origins and functions? Why and how did humans begin to make marks, and what does this practice tell us about the early human mind?With some two hundredstrikingcolor images anddiscussionsof chronology, dating, sites, and styles, this pioneering investigation of abstract geometrics on stone (as well asbone, ivory, and shell)explores its wide-ranging subject from the perspectives of ethnology, evolutionary biology, cognitive archaeology, and the psychology of artmaking.

The authors unique approach instills a greater respect for a largely unknown and underappreciated form of paleoart, suggesting that before humans becameHomo symbolicusor evenHomo religiosus, they were mark-makersHomo aestheticus.


1KBBW Western & Pacific Coast states, 3B Prehistory, ACBS Colonial art, ACC History of art: pre-history, HBJK History of the Americas, HD Archaeology, HDD Archaeology by period / region, WQH Local history

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