Painted Caves: Palaeolithic Rock Art in Western Europe

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OUP Oxford, May 24, 2012 - Art - 446 pages
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Painted Caves, a beautifully illustrated introduction to the oldest art of Western Europe, charts the historical background to the acceptance of a Palaeolithic age for the very ancient paintings found in caves. Offering an up-to-date overview of the geographical distribution of the sites found in southern France and the Iberian Peninsula, and examples known in Britain, Italy, Romania, and Russia, Lawson's expert study is not restricted to the art in caves, but places this art alongside the engravings and sculptures found both on portable objects and on rock faces in the open air. Written from an archaeological perspective, the volume stresses how the individual images cannot be considered in isolation, but should rather be related to their location and other evidence that might provide clues to their significance. Although many scholars have put forward ideas as to the meaning and function of the art, Lawson discusses some of the substantive theories and offers glimpses of his own experience in the field and enduring fascination for the subject.

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About the author (2012)

Andrew Lawson has been a professional archaeologist for nearly 40 years. After a spell as a research assistant for the University of Chicago, he worked for 10 years as a prehistorian in the Norfolk Museums Service. He held the post of Unit Director/Chief Executive of the Trust for Wessex Archaeology, one of Britain's leading professional practices, for 20 years. Throughout his career he has visited rock art sites in Europe and elsewhere. He has excavated sites of all periods, published a wide range of archaeological papers, has lectured to university and extra-mural courses, and has led specialist tours to prehistoric sites in many countries.

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