ART AND SYMBOLISM OF THE ANCIENTS

ARC3ASA

Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

The appearance of art in the archaeological record has often been said to herald the appearance of our species, behaviourally modern human. In this subject, students explore the art and symbolic behaviour of past human societies. We investigate the earliest expressions of art; its chronology and the various interpretations of why art appeared at the time it did in the archaeological record and it covers the time from over 100,000 years ago up until the Neolithic period. Art is examined in its variety, form and iconic content and we seek to determine common themes of humanity. Theoretical aspects of the interpretation of ancient art by various practitioners are discussed and we examine the links between the changing environment and humans through the images preserved in the archaeological record. A global approach is taken using examples from Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRichard Cosgrove

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 30 credit points of first year archaeology subjects or co-ordinator's approval.

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjects ARC2ASA

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsIntroduction to Rock Art ResearchPrescribedWhitley, D.SLEFT COAST PRESS, 2005
ReadingsPrehistoric art: the symbolic jorney of humankind,RecommendedWhite, R.HARRY N. ABRAMS INC PUBLISHERS 2003
ReadingsThe Cambridge illustrated history of prehistoric art,RecommendedBahn, P.CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 1998
ReadingsThe archaeology of rock art,RecommendedChippendale, C. & Tacon, S. (eds)CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 1998

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Draw on theoretical and methodological literature to develop and answer research questions about comparative rock art from a region or locality.

Activities:
Each week a film on rock art of a region of the world will be shown. Focus on discussion and exercises relevant to that topic.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Speaking (Speaking)
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

02. Integrate and understand the theoretical approaches, methodology and research questions appropriate to the evidence from rock art site across the globe.

Activities:
One 1-hour examination 30%
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Writing (Writing)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

03. Present findings of analysis of rock art images in discussion groups, identifying the methods, styles and locations of the sites.

Activities:
Group discussions and presentation in class of main issues on the weekly theme. Choose a rock art site and describe the images in terms of techniques, size, character, form and structure.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Speaking (Speaking)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Teamwork (Teamwork)

04. Understand the various cultural attributes & customs of contemporary societies through investigations of the rock art contained within the archaeological record.

Activities:
Examples of the use of imagery and rock art in different societies to provide analogies for explanation of the role and purpose of ancient art.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Ethical & Cultural Awareness (Ethical & Cultural Awareness)
Teamwork (Teamwork)

05. Write an essay using the Harvard referencing system.

Activities:
Write a major essay on a significant issue in rock art studies
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Writing (Writing)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

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