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H 290 x W 205 mm

180 pages

64 figures, 1 table (colour throughout)

Published Dec 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803273884

Digital: 9781803273891

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Rock Art; History of Archaeology; Archaeological Research; Indigenous; Cultural Heritage

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Powerful Pictures: Rock Art Research Histories around the World

Edited by Jamie Hampson, Sam Challis, Joakim Goldhahn

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Focusing on stunning paintings and engravings from around the world, 16 papers interrogate the driving forces behind global rock art research. Many of the motifs featured were created by indigenous hunter-gatherer groups; this book sheds new light on non-Western rituals and worldviews, many of which are threatened or on the point of extinction.



Why the history of rock art research matters – Joakim Goldhahn, Jamie Hampson, and Sam Challis ;

The history of rock art research in west Texas, North America, and beyond – Jamie Hampson ;

Reclaiming connections: Ethnography, archaeology, and images on stone in the southwestern United States – Kelley Hays-Gilpin and Dennis Gilpin ;

Rock art, landscapes and materiality in the Canadian Shield – Dagmara Zawadzka ;

On the history of rock art research in Mexico and Central America – Félix Alejandro Lerma Rodríguez ;

‘To Alleviate the Night-Black Darkness that Conceals our most Ancient Times:’ Carl Georg Brunius’ Trailblazing Rock Art Thesis from 1818 – Joakim Goldhahn ;

History of the study of schematic rock art in Spain – Margarita Díaz-Andreu ;

Leo Frobenius’ contribution to global rock art research – Richard Kuba and Martin Porr ;

History debunked: Endeavours in rewriting the San past from the indigenous rock art archive – Sam Challis ;

Rock art and archaeology? The problem of ‘integration’ in southern African later stone age research – David Mendel Witelson ;

A history of research into regional difference in southern African rock paintings – Ghilraen Laue ;

Explorers and researchers: Kimberley rock art discoveries 1838–1938 – Michael P. Rainsbury ;

Discovering and researching gwion (bradshaw) art in the Kimberley, Western Australia – Joc Schmiechen ;

Rock art research in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India – Sujitha Pillai ;

Historical overview of Mongolian rock art studies – Byambasuren Tseren ;

A history of rock art research in Russia – Irina Ponomareva

About the Author

Jamie Hampson is a Senior Lecturer in the Humanities Department at the University of Exeter. He has a PhD in archaeology from the University of Cambridge, and an undergraduate degree in history from Oxford. Jamie works primarily on rock art, identity, and Indigenous heritage projects in the USA, southern Africa, Australia, and Europe.

Sam Challis is Head and Senior Researcher at the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, lecturing undergraduates in global hunter-gatherer and rock art studies, and advising graduates and postdocs. His focus is on the interactions between Indigenous peoples, and with Europeans, as expressed in rock art around the world. His research is directed toward understandings of all these processes in terms of the New Animisms.

Joakim Goldhahn holds the Rock Art Australia Ian Potter Kimberley Chair at the Centre of Rock Art Research and Management at the University of Western Australia. His research focuses mainly on north European and Australian rock art. Other topics include the European Bronze Age, human-animal relatedness, burial rituals, landscape and monumentality, ritual specialists, and the history of archaeology, resulting in 28 books and over 200 scientific publications, including Birds in the Bronze Age – a North European perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2019).