edited by Terence Meaden and Herman Bender. 606 2020. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789693577. Epublication ISBN 9781789693584. |
In the realm of rock art, humanlike images appear widely through time and space from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and for some continents to later, yet still prehistoric, times. The artworks discussed in Anthropomorphic Images in Rock Art Paintings and Rock Carvings range from paintings, engravings or scratchings on cave walls and rock shelters, images pecked into rocky surfaces or upon standing stones, and major sacred sites (among them Gobekli Tepe, Avebury, Stonehenge, and the Palaeolithic Chauvet Cave) in which the possibility exists of recovery of the meanings intended by the artists and sculptors. Such prospects can relate to known or inferred legends, myths, folklore, rites and ritual, and often allude to matters that recognise the unremitting benefits of human, animal and crop fertility to humankind. Occasionally, relevant art forms are present not in whole but as pars pro toto, in which a part stands for or symbolises the whole. Images or artistic compositions often articulate, in ways more or less manifest, scenes of dramatic action as with hunting and dancing, mating and birthing, ritual and ceremony, some of which may openly or latently express yearnings for the rewards of fruitful fecundity – as with the much-loved worldview known as the hieros gamos or Sacred Marriage.
About the Editors
Terence Meaden has Oxford University degrees in archaeology (MSc) and physics (MA, DPhil). Formerly a physics professor, in retirement he is working full time in fieldwork and landscape archaeology studying aspects of the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, chiefly in Ireland, Scotland and England. Recent publications include Stonehenge, Avebury and Drombeg Stone Circles Deciphered (2016), contributions to the Edinburgh University Journal of Lithic Studies (2017), and The Origins of the Universe, Earth, Life and Humanity (2018).
Herman Bender is an independent researcher with a background in geology (professional emphasis) and a technical field in industry. An amateur astronomer with decades of experience and approved historical consultant, he has nationally and internationally published in the fields of archeoastronomy, prehistoric trail research, petroform research, applied geophysics, cultural landscape studies and Northern archaic shamanistic traditions.
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