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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Central and South America is a vast region, where a wide range of different societies established, transformed, disappeared, and endured. This kaleidoscope of peoples offers a particularly rich and diverse body of rock art in terms of its historical, technical, visual, and spatial features. The first sections of this chapter briefly introduces the reader to this diversity, as well as to the history of rock art research, presenting and discussing the different theoretical and methodological frameworks used. The authors discuss the role that rock art played—and still plays—for different groups, which they have grouped in terms of their common socioeconomic strategies. The authors argue that rock art research from this region can contribute to the wider understanding of rock art in the world, offering its materialistic and archaeological approaches ranging from the study of social complexity, the domestication of animals, mobility, and memory.

Keywords: South America, Central America, rock art, theoretical approaches, hunter-gatherers, agrarian communities, pre-Hispanic states

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