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date: 26 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

It is taken as undeniable that the basic rules of perception dictate both the manner in which objects are depicted and the manner in which these depictions are apprehended. The fact that all human beings are subject to these rules does not negate the possibility of cultural variation but, it is argued, that evidence for abeyance by these rules can always be found under the overlay of cultural varnish, and that such evidence may be helpful to understanding of the depictions left by cultures long vanished, as well as by the cultures differing from that of the viewer, thus to both archaeology and anthropology. The evidence examined to sustain this argument has been mostly drawn from studies of perception carried out in culturally distinct populations and from well established scientific records.

Keywords: graphic perception, rock art, pictures, peripheral contours, significant contours, pictorial perception, picture making, abstraction, translation

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