Relating to rock art in the contemporary world: Navigating symbolism, meaning and significance

Liam Brady, Paul S C Tacon

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Images that have been painted, drawn, stenciled, engraved, or printed on rocky surfaces around the world have captured the interest and fascination of scholars and the public alike for many generations. As the world's most widespread and longest-lasting form of visual heritage, these images are powerful communication tools that have been used to tell stories, convey experience, enhance memory, and record history. Rock art evokes strong aesthetic responses, as well as wonderment, reflection, and contemplation. It was made for many reasons, for instance, to reflect knowledge, spirituality, political viewpoints, conflict, transition, emotion, awareness of the environment, encounter and identity, among other things. Creativity and imagination are central to rock art production, but the placement of imagery in enduring landscapes allowed humans to convey information beyond one-on-one encounters between individuals. Human experience and knowledge could now be passed on between many individuals, varied groups, and even generations over time. This "symbolic storage" revolutionized the way people shared information, leading to full-blown modern human culture as we know it, and eventually to great art traditions, books, television, and iPads.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationColorado
PublisherUniversity Press of Colorado
Number of pages390
ISBN (Electronic)9781607324980
ISBN (Print)9781607324973
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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