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Title: Prehistoric rock-art in Scotland : one tradition or many?
Author: Freedman, Davina Gwyneth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 7367
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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The primary aim of this thesis is to explore the contribution that aspects of identity can add to our understanding of societies in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Scotland through the carvings they produced. Through a consideration of the history of rock-art research it is established that the identities of the makers of the art have been largely neglected, except as figures in a simple evolutionary schema where they function as exemplars of 'primitives'. Subsequent developments in the field have broadened the debate by focusing on context. Others have considered other aspects of humaness through their attention to sensation and memory, but these positions leave many questions unresolved. Moving beyond this I utilise developments in social sciences to indicate the important place of art in the expression of social and cultural identities. Drawing too on ethnographic analogies the role of art production in the development and maintenance of social relations is highlighted. Although people may share symbols which are used in order to articulate cultural meaning, these elements can also be employed in different ways which are essential to people's sense of community, tradition and identity. The rock-art repertoires of five areas in Scotland are considered and compared primarily as expressions of identity. These are rigorously analysed and differences made apparent at a number of levels. I assert here that rock-art is not a homogenous entity as assumed by some scholars and have sought to move the study of rock -art beyond those of current concerns to ones that consider the identity of the carvers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available