Bruno David and Ian J. McNiven
This Introduction to The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art highlights a number of conceptual themes and issues that go to the heart of rock art research. Rock art research in the early twenty-first century is daunting in its complexity and scope due largely to major technological advances in digital recording and chronometric dating, the increasing employment of sophisticated methods and theories harnessed not just from archaeology and anthropology but also from a wide array of disciplines, and greater awareness of Indigenous voices, ethical responsibilities, and political sensitivities of working collaboratively with Indigenous communities. As archaeological and anthropological approaches to rock art mutually inform each other’s research agendas, new methodological and theoretical ways of approaching, conceptualising, and historicising rock art symbolism, biography, authorship, gender, sexuality, spiritualism, agency, and relationality continue to develop to shape future research agendas.
Portrait of a Palaeolithic Family: Art, Ornamentation, and Children’s Relationship with their Community
This chapter exams the contribution of children to the creation of art in the Palaeolithic, exploring how different forms of art can reflect and inform the relationship between children and their family/community. The widest definition of ‘art’ is used, to include material culture, portable or static, which has been purposefully moulded to create something other than its original form and its interpretation is culturally specific. In this chapter, the material culture will be drawn from two sources; the mortuary record, namely body ornamentation in the form of beads, shells, and teeth, which are contextually associated with human burials, and the decorated Franco-Cantabrian caves. The ‘art’ from both of these records can in their own ways inform as to the relationship between children and their families.