Seeing and Knowing

Rock Art with and without Ethnography
Editor(s): , ,
Contributor(s): , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Dimensions and Pages: 245 x 200 mm, 328 pp
  • EAN: 9781868145133
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 100.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): n/a

It is largely through the work of David Lewis-Williams that San rock art has come to be understood so well, as a complex symbolic and metaphoric representation of San religious beliefs and practices.

The purpose of this volume is to demonstrate the depth and wide geographical impact of Lewis-Williams’ contribution, with particular emphasis on the use of theory and methodology drawn from ethno­graphy that he has used with inspirational effect in understanding the meaning and context of rock art in various parts of the world.

Seeing and Knowing explores how to understand and learn from rock art with and without ethnography. Because many of the chapters are based on solid fieldwork and ethnographic research, they offer a new body of work that provides the evidence for differentiation between knowing and simply seeing.

This volume is unique in that it focuses exclusively on rock art and ethnography, and covers such a wide geographic range of examples on this topic, from southern Africa, to Scandinavia, to the United States. Many of the chapters explore studies in rock art regions of the world where variation and constancy can be observed and explored across distances both in space and in time.

The editors have entitled the book Seeing and Knowing to echo Lewis-Williams’ Believing and Seeing published almost thirty years ago; they say ‘seeing’ again because looking at rock art is and will always be central, and then what is seen when human eyes and minds look; they say ‘knowing’ in recognition that, by his work and by his example, archaeologists now know a little more than they knew before. Even so, as Lewis-Williams will be the first to say, we still know only a fraction.

Geoffrey Blundell is Curator of the Origins Centre museum at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Christopher Chippindale is a reader in Archaeology and Curator for British Collections at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University. Benjamin Smith is Director of the Rock Art Research Institute (RARI) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Chapter 1. Rock art with and without ethnography
Geoffrey Blundell, Christopher Chippindale and Benjamin Smith

Chapter 2. Flashes of brilliance: San rock paintings of heaven’s things Sven Ouzman

Chapter 3. Snake and veil: The rock engravings of Driekopseiland,
Northern Cape, South Africa
David Morris

Chapter 4. Cups and saucers: A preliminary investigation of the rock
carvings of Tsodilo Hills, northern Botswana
Nick Walker

Chapter 5. Art and authorship in southern African rock art: Examining the Limpopo-Shashe Confluence Area
Edward B. Eastwood, Geoffrey Blundell and Benjamin Smith

Chapter 6. Archaeology, ethnography, and rock art: A modern-day study
from Tanzania Imogene L. Lim

Chapter 7. Art and belief: The ever-changing and the never-changing in the
Far West
David S. Whitley

Chapter 8. Crow Indian elk love-medicine and rock art in Montana and Wyoming
Lawrence L. Loendorf

Chapter 9. Layer by layer: Precision and accuracy in rock art recording and dating
Jannie Loubser

Chapter 10. From the tyranny of the figures to the interrelationship between
myths, rock art and their surfaces
Knut Helskog

Chapter 11. Composite creatures in European Palaeolithic art Jean Clottes

Chapter 12. Thinking strings: On theory, shifts and conceptual issues in the study of Palaeolithic art
Margaret W. Conkey

Chapter 13. Rock art without ethnography? A history of attitude to rock art and landscape at Frøysjøen, western Norway
Eva Walderhaug Sætersdal

Chapter 14. ‘Meaning cannot rest or stay the same’
Patricia Vinnicombe

Chapter 15. Manica rock art in contemporary society
Tore Sætersdal

Chapter 16. Oral tradition, ethnography, and the practice of North American archaeology Julie E. Francis and Lawrence L. Loendorf

Chapter 17. Beyond rock art: Archaeological interpretation and the shamanic frame Neil Price

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