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Title: Rock Art and Ritual: An Archaeological Analysis of Rock Art in Arid Central Australia
Contributor(s): Ross, June (author); Davidson, Iain (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1007/s10816-006-9021-1
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Abstract: Rock art researchers throughout the world have explicitly or implicitly invoked ritual as an activity associated with the production of rock art but the articulation between the structure and composition of rock art assemblages and ritual behaviour remains poorly understood. Anthropologist, Roy Rappaport (1999) argued that all ritual, whatever the content or focus, has a universal structure. We review this proposition in the context of ritual studies and propose a method aimed at assessing the potential for identifying ritual structure in rock art assemblages. We discuss an archaeological analysis undertaken on the rock art assemblages in arid Central Australia, which aimed at distinguishing such a ritual structure among engraved assemblages, likely to have a Pleistocene origin, as well as more recent painted, stencilled and drawn assemblages. This analysis, despite its limitations, provides the foundation for developing a model, which will enhance the understanding of the relationship between the production of rock art and ritual.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 13(4), p. 305-341
Publisher: Springer Science
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1072-5369
Field of Research (FOR): 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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