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Arts 2014, 3(4), 367-393; doi:10.3390/arts3040367

Hand Traces: Technical Aspects of Positive and Negative Hand-Marking in Rock Art

Independent scholar, 9 Blair Street, Watson, Australian Capital Territory, 2602, Australia
Received: 8 September 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Collection World Rock Art)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1871 KB, uploaded 11 December 2014]   |  

Abstract

Affordances necessary for the making of hand traces in the form of stencils and prints—primarily the availability of pigment and a suitable surface—bear on our understanding of their emergence as early exograms. Matters relating to the question of how pigment was/is applied, the placement and embellishment of images, the procurement and preparation of ochre, and the selecting and priming of surfaces, are discussed here—as well as the intriguing occurrence of variant hands. Advantage is taken of Australia’s position as a zone of ongoing hand-marking practice to suggest what can be learned from ethnography. Finally, avenues for future research are proposed with a view to opening out a discussion of external information storage possibilities in relation to hand traces. View Full-Text
Keywords: hand stencils; hand prints; “decorated stencils”; “patterned hand prints”; ochre procurement; ochre preparation; pigment analysis; transposed gestural language; exograms hand stencils; hand prints; “decorated stencils”; “patterned hand prints”; ochre procurement; ochre preparation; pigment analysis; transposed gestural language; exograms
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dobrez, P. Hand Traces: Technical Aspects of Positive and Negative Hand-Marking in Rock Art. Arts 2014, 3, 367-393.

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