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A Distributional Approach to the Interpretation of Rock Art in the South-Western Cape

Tony Manhire, John Parkington and Bill Van Rijssen
Goodwin Series
Vol. 4, New Approaches to Southern African Rock Art (Jun., 1983), pp. 29-33
DOI: 10.2307/3858100
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3858100
Page Count: 5
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A Distributional Approach to the Interpretation of Rock Art in the South-Western Cape
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Abstract

This paper accepts that rock paintings executed by prehistoric people from one segment, albeit rather complex, of the archaeological record. As with other forms of archaeological data the paintings carry a range of meanings and become informative only when related to specific interests or hypotheses. We offer here a very preliminary comment on the spatial distributions of some motifs in the western Cape and some of the archaeological issues to which they may relate. Our long term aim is to help generate methods for viewing paintings as partial records of prehistoric settlement. The fieldwork reported grew out of the work of Tim Maggs, Hyme Rabinowitz, Townley Johnson and Percy Sieff in the Pakhuis Pass region and is part of a project involving the Spatial Archaeology Research Unit at the University of Cape Town and the South African Museum in Cape Town.

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