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Arts 2014, 3(1), 156-174; doi:10.3390/arts3010156

Pleistocene Paleoart of Australia

International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO), P.O. Box 216, Caulfield South VIC 3162, Australia
Received: 1 February 2014 / Accepted: 7 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Rock Art)
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Pleistocene rock art is abundant in Australia, but has so far received only limited attention. Instead there has been a trend, begun over a century ago, to search for presumed depictions of extinct megafauna and the tracks of such species. All these notions have been discredited, however, and the current evidence suggests that figurative depiction was introduced only during the Holocene, never reaching Tasmania. Nevertheless, some Australian rock art has been attributed to the Pleistocene by direct dating methods, and its nature implies that a significant portion of the surviving corpus of rock art may also be of such age. In particular much of Australian cave art is of the Ice Age, or appears to be so, and any heavily weathered or patinated petroglyphs on particularly hard rocks are good candidates for Pleistocene antiquity. On the other hand, there is very limited evidence of mobiliary paleoart of such age in Australia.
Keywords: rock art; portable paleoart; Pleistocene; bead; pictogram; petroglyph; Australia rock art; portable paleoart; Pleistocene; bead; pictogram; petroglyph; Australia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Bednarik, R.G. Pleistocene Paleoart of Australia. Arts 2014, 3, 156-174.

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