Anthropomorphic Images in Rock Art Paintings and Rock Carvings (Paperback)
In the realm of rock art, humanlike images appear widely through time and space from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and for some continents to later, yet still prehistoric, times. The artworks discussed in Anthropomorphic Images in Rock Art Paintings and Rock Carvings range from paintings, engravings or scratchings on cave walls and rock shelters, images pecked into rocky surfaces or upon standing stones, and major sacred sites (among them Gobekli Tepe, Avebury, Stonehenge, and the Palaeolithic Chauvet Cave) in which the possibility exists of recovery of the meanings intended by the artists and sculptors. Such prospects can relate to known or inferred legends, myths, folklore, rites and ritual, and often allude to matters that recognise the unremitting benefits of human, animal and crop fertility to humankind. Occasionally, relevant art forms are present not in whole but as pars pro toto, in which a part stands for or symbolises the whole. Images or artistic compositions often articulate, in ways more or less manifest, scenes of dramatic action as with hunting and dancing, mating and birthing, ritual and ceremony, some of which may openly or latently express yearnings for the rewards of fruitful fecundity - as with the much-loved worldview known as the hieros gamos or Sacred Marriage.