Abstract and Keywords
Until recently, Caribbean rock art research had been held back by factors common to other areas, as well as particular to the island-chain setting. Lack of chronological control and a negative conceptual bias by professionals are among the former grouping, while diverse geography and divergent research frameworks are due to a colonial legacy. The discussion of rock art investigation in the region includes survey status, image and site characterizations, dating schemes, interpretative frameworks, and preservation. It demonstrates the advancement of carved and painted images to the understanding of past Amerindian, as well as early historic and even present-day, cultures. Rock art presents a contrast between static images rendered on fixed surfaces that were also meant to be full of life and of direct relevance to cultural experiences. Internal individual and social relationships, ideas, and needs are given expression through rock art whose forms are conditioned by environmental and cultural contexts.
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