Discovering South Carolina's Rock Art
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
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List of Illustrations
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Unofficially and unintentionally the South Carolina Rock Art Survey began in 1983, when a collector of Indian artifacts reported a petroglyph located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Oconee Couny, South Carolina. Prior to this exciting discovery, it was generally believed that prehistoric rock art did not exist in the state. ...
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It is impossible to thank all the many individuals and the various news media that assisted the South Carolina Rock Art Survey. Many supporters have given generously of their time, labor, encouragement, cooperation, money, and media coverage. Without them the survey would not have been possible or successful. ...
Introduction: What Is Rock Art?
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The term petroglyph is derived from the Greek words petros (rock) and glyphe (carving). It is often used to denote any carving or inscription on rock. Pictograph, refers to a pictorial sign or symbol created by drawing or painting without carving on any kind of surface, including rock. Collectively petroglyphs and pictographs are commonly referred to as rock art, ...
1. The Survey
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Long before a decision was made to conduct a formal search for South Carolina rock art, I had begun a search for information that might assist a better understanding of the few previously reported petroglyphs. A search of the South Carolina Statewide Archaeological Site Inventory, managed by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeolon and Anthropolon (SCIAA), ...
2. Rock-Art Motifs
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Having been created freehand, each example of rock art is unique. It is relatively easy to categorize motifs that are universal to human understanding, such as representations of animals or humans. On the other hand, much rock art does not clearly convey the intentions of its creators; thus classification is subject to the viewer’s interpretation. ...
3. Portable Petroglyphs
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This chapter discusses portable petroglyphs other than the portable versions of circle-and-line tar-burner rocks, which are covered in the next chapter. The circle-and-line glyph is distinctly diferent rom any other portable glyphs we recorded. Technically speaking, portable petroglyphs may be so large that they can barely be transported ...
4. Circle-and-Line Petroglyphs [Color plates follow page 98]
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Circle-and-line petroglyphs are the only glyphs that exhibit evidence of utiliy. They are second in number only to the unadorned circle among the glyphs recorded in South Carolina. ...
5. Historic-Period Rock Art
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The things we understand are rarely as intriguing as those that we do not, so it is not surprising that for many people historic-period rock art lacks the appeal of its prehistoric counterpart and thus has not inspired an equal research interest. In the American West and perhaps in the eastern states as well, native peoples continued to create rock art long after the arrival of Europeans. ...
6. Prehistoric Pictographs
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Those familiar with the climate of the southeastern Unites States are well aware that the environment is unkind to exposed surfaces. If prehistoric pictographs ever existed on exposed rock surfaces in South Carolina, as surely they must have, they have not been reported and were probably long ago destroyed by forces of nature. ...
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After nine years of periodic survey, a reasonable profile of South Carolina’s rock-art sites has been established. Sixty-one petroglyph sites and three pictograph sites have been recorded. Although other rock-art sites will surely be discovered, it appears unlikely that the present pattern of distribution will be drastically altered. ...
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Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2012