Rock art is one of humankind's most ancient forms of artistic expression, and one of its most enigmatic. For centuries, scholars and other observers have struggled to interpret the meaning of the mysterious figures incised or painted on natural rocks and to understand their role in th... e lives of their long-vanished creators. The Great Basin of the American West is especially rich in rock art, but until recently North American archaeologists have largely ignored these most visible monuments left by early Native Americans and have given little attention to the terrain surrounding them. In Great Basin Rock Art, twelve respected rock art researchers examine a number of significant sites from the dual perspectives of settlement archaeology and contemporary Native American interpretations of the role of rock art in their cultural past. The authors demonstrate how modern archaeological methodology and interpretations are providing a rich physical and cultural context for these ancient and hitherto puzzling artifacts. They offer exciting new insights into the lives of North America's first inhabitants. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the petroglyphs of the American West and in the history of the Great Basin and its original peoples.
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