Myths about Rock Art

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Archaeopress, 2016 - Petroglyphs - 220 pages
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Rather than considering the myths supposedly depicted in the world's rock art, this book examines the myths archaeologists and others have created about the meanings and significance of rock art. This vast body of opinions dominates our concepts of the principal surviving cultural manifestations of early worldviews. Here these constructs are subjected to detailed analysis and are found to consist largely of misinterpretations. From the misidentification of natural rock markings as rock art to mistaken interpretations, from sensationalist claims to pareidolic elucidations of iconographies, the book presents numerous examples of myths researchers have created about pre-Historic 'art'. The claims about a connection between rock art and the neuropathologies of its producers are assessed, and the neuroscience of rock art interpretation is reviewed. The book presents a comprehensive catalogue of falsities claimed about palaeoart, and it endeavours to explain how these arose, and how they can be guarded against by recourse to basic principles of science. It therefore represents a key resource in the scientific study of rock art.

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About the author (2016)

Robert G. Bednarik is the Convener and Editor-in-Chief of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations and is affiliated with Hebei Normal University, China. His principal research interests are the origins of the human ability to create constructs of reality, the evolution of humans, and in a variety of fields providing supplementary information in that quest, including the world's rock art. He has produced more than 1350 academic publications.

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