What Painting? Encountering and interpreting the archaeological record in western Arnhem Land, northern Australia

Liam Brady, Sally May, Joakim Goldhahn, Paul Tacon, Patrick Lamilami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Research into contemporary Indigenous relationships with the archaeological record has increasingly drawn upon frameworks emphasising relational, affectual and cultural understandings to learn about the complex ways that meaning and symbolism are negotiated and expressed. In this paper, we use a series of case studies from Arnhem Land to investigate the network of relationships Aboriginal Traditional Owners use in the process of interpreting the archaeological record. At the core of this process is Edward Casey's idea of “grasping-together”, where people draw on their social and cultural knowledge as a means to make sense out of what is being encountered and how it fits into existing frameworks of knowledge and understanding. By approaching rock art through the lens of encounter and interaction, archaeologists are in a privileged position to add another layer to the, symbolism and significance people attach to their cultural heritage today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalArchaeology in Oceania
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • rock art
  • interpretation
  • meaning
  • Arnhem Land
  • Reflexivity
  • sens
  • Terre d'Arnhem
  • art rupestre
  • reflexivity
  • réflexivité

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