Bedrock notions and isochrestic choice: evidence for localised stylistic patterning in the engravings of the Sydney region

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores stylistic variability in engraved art in the Sydney region. It is argued that engravings operated in a distinctive social context, fulfilling a regional bonding function and providing the opportunity for large scale group cohesion. Conversely the sheltered pigment art, produced in an arguably domestic social context, is thought to have provided the opportunity for individual and localised group identifying behaviour.

The region's open engravings are considered to be the stylistically more conservative of the two art components. This paper explores rare engraved motifs and compositional details in an attempt to explore the artists of this region's bedrock notions and isochrestic choices (Sackett 1990). It concludes that by exploring regional patterning at a variety of integrated scales we can understand better the processes and complexities of a regional rock art network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
JournalArchaeology in Oceania
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

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