Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores questions of ontology in rock art analysis. More specifically, it argues that the distinction between ‘informed’ methods and ‘formal’ methods reproduces some problematic dichotomies, such as the distinction between active subjects and inert objects, culture and nature, and a conceptualization of meaning as being external to the art itself. The chapter proposes a move away from such an ontologically hierarchical approach to rock art analysis to a relational approach in which there is no ontological priority between the different elements that make up the rock art assemblage. It emphasizes that placing formal methods at the heart of rock art studies, alongside analogy, shifts the questions we ask of rock art away from simple epistemologically derived enquiries to ontological questions. To illustrate this the chapter examines case studies of parietal art of the European Palaeolithic and Comanche rock art in North America.

Keywords: ‘informed’ and ‘formal’ methods, analogy, non-representational, relational ontology, intra-action, Upper Palaeolithic, Europe, Comanche, North America

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.