Analysis of variation in prehistoric rock engravings.
Quantitative analysis of variation in rock art within and between regions has not been an emphasis of rock art studies in Africa, nor has the exploration of the rock engravings within the continent. This paper discusses an analysis of spatial variation within a corpus of prehistoric engravings from Australia, which has been represented as a homogeneous pan-Australian “style”. Possible explanations for the pattern found, including extensive social networks, are discussed. It is suggested that univariate and multivariate analyses of motif counts may be useful in elucidating similarities and differences between rock engravings found throughout Africa and in exploring possible prehistoric social networks.
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