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date: 21 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Images of animals are among the most frequent marks people made on rock surfaces. They occur around the world in more than 100 countries, in caves, rock shelters, and in open air. They were made as early as about 40,000 years ago until very recently. Between those dates and across those regions, there is much variation in the way images of animals have come down to us. Determining how to interpret images of animals is complicated by that fact that most ethnographic accounts of attitudes to animals and to making images depend on knowledge of the expressed views of the present-day people. It is hazardous to attempt to infer the meanings from the images alone, at least in part because of variation through time and space. Nevertheless, it seems likely that differences between sets of images imply different worldviews, although similarities do not in themselves necessarily signify similar worldviews.

Keywords: identifying animals, scenes, people and animals, spatial variation, change

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