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1 Introduction Michele H. Hayward, Lesley-Gail Atkinson, and Michael A. Cinquino Rationale and Goals The study of and interest in Caribbean rock art possess a long,though largely circumscribed history. Early European chroniclers, while excluding direct mention of the area’s rock images,nonetheless provide a comprehensive context to aid in the understanding of this form of cultural expression. Later interested amateurs and professionals have continued to detail the varied and substantial body of pre-Hispanic-executed designs on rock surfaces. This resource and its investigative potential remain little known. David Whitley’s edited volume Handbook of RockArt Research (2001) provides summaries of technical, interpretive, and regional advances in rock art research. The Caribbean is not included, although scattered references to the region can be found in the lowland South America section. Cornelius N. Dubelaar has undertaken two comprehensive surveys of rock art for part of the area. Information such as techniques of execution and site descriptions with line drawings can be found in his 1986 book, SouthAmerican and Caribbean Petroglyphs . The focus is primarily on South American locations, with limited mention of Caribbean island sites.A similar effort for the Lesser Antillean islands is contained in Dubelaar’s 1995 publication The Petroglyphs of the Lesser Antilles,theVirgin Islands and Trinidad. The principal venue for publication of rock art research in the region is the biannual Proceedings of the Congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology. The entire Proceedings from 1961 to 2005, or Volumes 1 through 21, are available on a DVD in PDF format from the website www. culturalresourcesolutions.com. More localized venues, such as the Boletín del Museo del Hombre Dominicano from the Dominican Republic and El CaribeArqueol ógico from Cuba, regularly contain articles on the rock images of these or other islands. Articles or information on Caribbean rock art can be found occasionally 2 / Hayward, Atkinson, and Cinquino in wider-distribution journals and books; in international conference publications ; in cultural resource management contract reports for those islands politically linked to the United States (Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands );and on electronic publishing or other informational sites through the Internet. Our goal is to add to the growing interest and research in the rock art of the area through the following specific aims: 1.To provide an overview of Caribbean rock art from as many areas as possible . Topics include the history of research, as well as the assessment of sites, and the application of methods, interpretive frameworks, and protection strategies. 2.To collate these authors’ and additional source data to more effectively direct and advance research and conservation efforts in the region. Rock Art Categories and Terminology The Caribbean contains three categories of rock art: painted images and carved designs on rock surfaces and rock sculptures.The latter include carved triangular objects and freestanding statues that are generally viewed as belonging to artifact classes of similar manufacture or function. For example, triangular objects made from stone are analyzed along with those carved from shell or bone. Other forms of rock art such as geoglyphs and large-scale rock arrangements constructed in pre-Columbian times are unknown from the region. Small-scale arrangements are possible. Gérard Richard (Chapter 10, this volume) reports an apparent circular formation of boulders for one site on Guadeloupe, while Maura Imbert (2007) suggests that rocks at one location on Antigua may have been deliberately ordered for astronomical observations . Historically, however, rock art studies have been restricted to the first two classes found on immovable or relatively stationary rock structures (Dubelaar et al. 1999:1–2), although comparisons of designs across different media are certainly incorporated. Caribbean rock art researchers employ a range of terms and meanings in their research.We follow a middle ground of editorship:reducing but not entirely eliminating variability.The term rock art, normally found in the literature and this volume,refers to both carved and painted motifs on natural rock surfaces. Rock figures, images, designs, and motifs serve as alternative vocabulary . Petroglyphs refers to carved, pecked, ground, or other agency-produced designs. Pictographs covers painted or drawn images that are also, though less regularly, referred to as rock paintings. The terms type, style, school, and tradition are utilized, frequently without Introduction / 3 consideration of their technical meanings. The various elaborated types or typologies have been employed as a means to order rock art data. The categories are derived from identified attributes that then function as analytical units to examine intersite or...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780817381592
Print ISBN
9780817355302
MARC Record
OCLC
679303852
Pages
304
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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