Rock Art Documentation Methods

Course Number: ARC X430


2 units

Rock art refers to art created by people in the past. Some of the oldest rock art sites in Europe are believed to date to 40,000 years ago. In North America, rock art is associated with pre- and post-contact indigenous people that created a variety of regional styles studied by modern archaeologists. In this hands-on class, you will learn about the scientific study of rock art as you are led through the process of rock art documentation. Learn a variety of documentation methods and collect data to use for lab analysis. You will also learn how to:

  • scientifically classify figures
  • record and enter attribute data into an Access Database
  • capture figure photographs with color correction for data analysis
  • use D-stretch for in-field and laboratory analysis
  • capture color data using a colorimeter that can be used to differentiate painting episode
  • document diachronic changes to the panel
  • create digital renderings of rock art figures for analysis
  • analyze relationships between figures on a panel, and interpret the meanings inherent in those relationships
  • engage in microscopic analysis of a panel to determine the order of figure execution

Includes classroom instruction, field documentation, and laboratory analysis of data collected from a rock art site.


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