Making sense of scenes

Sally May, Ines Domingo Sanz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Social behaviour and structures are often invisible in the archaeological record. However, rock art sometimes provides unique visual examples of social and cultural practices as perceived by the authors. Through a specific case study, a rock art scene from Injalak Hill (western Arnhem Land, Australia), this paper explores how the social information encoded in rock art scenes can be understood on the basis of three categories of analysis: the rock paintings, the archaeological/spatial context and the ethnographic context. This study demonstrates that patterns of composition are not at random in rock art scenes, but used to replicate social patterns of behaviour more than a simple action.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-42
    Number of pages8
    JournalRock Art Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Arnhem land
    • Ethnoarchaeology
    • Rock art
    • Scene
    • Social practice


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