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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: rock art, symbolism, representation, hyperreality, historicism, agency

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