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H 290 x W 205 mm

334 pages

430 illustrations

Published Feb 2020

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789693577

Digital: 9781789693584

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anthropomorph; Avebury; body postures; Chauvet Cave; Drombeg; fertility images; Gobekli Tepe; megaliths; Sacred Marriage; Stonehenge

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Anthropomorphic Images in Rock Art Paintings and Rock Carvings

Edited by Terence Meaden, Herman Bender

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In rock art, humanlike images appear widely throughout the ages. The artworks discussed in this book 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, in which exists the possibility of recovering the meanings intended by the artists.



Continental Europe and Britain and Ireland ;
Chapter 1: Fertility Petroglyphs at Drombeg Stone Circle Help Explain Through Hieros Gamos the Calendar Planning Principles of Drombeg and Other Recumbent Stone Circles Including Stonehenge - Terence Meaden ;
Chapter 2: Hieros Gamos—ἱερός γάμος—Symbol of Fertility and Orphism in Thracian Ideology - Stavros D. Kiotsekoglou ;
Chapter 3: An Image Description Method to Access Palaeolithic Art: Discovering a Visual Narrative of Gender Relations in the Pictorial Material of Chauvet Cave - Gernot Grube ;
Chapter 4: The Grotta Palmieri of Lettopalena (Chieti, Abruzzo): Preliminary Presentation of a New Site with Rock Paintings - Tomaso Di Fraia ;
Chapter 5: Representations of the Human Figure in the Anfratto Palmerini on Monte La Queglia: Engravings, Paintings, Symbols - Guido Palmerini ;
Chapter 6: A Unique Example of Engraved Transfigurative Rock Art at Avebury Cove in Wessex, Southern England - Terence Meaden ;
Chapter 7: Anthropomorphic Images in High Lunigiana, Massa Carrara, Italy - Angelina Magnotta Chapter 8: A Rock Art Site on the Avebury Hills in Wessex Whose Images Express a Perception of Death and Possibly a Mystical Link to the Solstice Sunsets - Terence Meaden ;

Asia ;
Chapter 9: Gobekli Tepe, Anatolia, Turkey – the Womb of the Mother Goddess - Anu Nagappa Chapter 10: Revelatory Style Art: The Human-plant Engagement Revealed by the Jiangjunya Petroglyph, China - Feng Qu ;

Australia ;
Chapter 11: Anthropomorphic Engraved Images in South-East Queensland, Australia - Marisa GiorgiChapter 12: Anthropomorphic Images in Australian Rock Art through Time and Space - Mike Donaldson ;

Africa ;
Chapter 13: The Postures of Childbirth in the Bovidian Women in the Rock Art of Tassili N’ajjer, Central Sahara of Algeria - Hassiba Safrioun and Louiza Belkhiri ;

North America ;
Chapter 14: What Can Be Learnt from Body Postures and Gestures of Anthropomorphic Figures in Petroglyphs of the Southwest USA - Carol Patterson ;
Chapter 15: Some Select Vulva Rock Petroglyphs and Forms in North America - Herman E. Bender ;
Chapter 16: Manitou or Spirit Stones and Their Meanings, Personification and Link to the Native American Cultural Landscape in North America - Herman E. Bender ;
Chapter 17: Multi-Layered Meanings in Anthropomorphic Figures in Yokuts and Western Mono Rock Art, California - Mary A. Gorden ;
Chapter 18: The Thunderbird in Native American Rock Art - Herman E. Bender ;

South America ;
Chapter 19: Anthropomorphic Representations in the Cave Paintings Located in the Archaeological Region of Seridó in Brazil - Nathalia Nogueira and Daniela Cisneiros ;
Chapter 20: Anthropomorphic Figures at the Alto De La Guitarra Site, Moche Valley, Peru - María Susana Barrau and Daniel Castillo Benítez ;
Chapter 21: Exceptional Anthropomorphic Figures at the Monte Calvario Site, Poro Poro, Cajamarca, Peru - Daniel Castillo Benítez and María Susana Barrau Index

About the Author

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.