The pre-Historic rock art of the world has been studied for centuries, but until very recently much of this endeavour has yielded little more than subjective contemporary re-interpretations of ancient symbolic systems. In recent years a specific research discipline has begun to emerge in this field, intended to examine the development of human cognition.
The International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO) is the main force behind the campaign of rendering rock art studies more rigorous, transforming the topic into a scientific pursuit. With the beginning of the 21st century Brepols Publishers NV, a major scholarly publishing house in Belgium, joined IFRAO in an effort to establish an imprint satisfying the aims of both these partners: to publish the world’s best academic work in the field of rock art research.
The IFRAO-Brepols imprint is intended to set the standard for the international discipline in the new century. An editorial committee comprising some of the world’s foremost scholars in the field, representing all continents, safeguards the scientific calibre of the volumes published in this series. It is endeavoured to assemble with this collection a library of the most authoritative work available on pre-Historic art.
The following volumes have been published under the IFRAO-Brepols imprint:
Volume 1. ROCK ART SCIENCE: the scientific study of palaeoart (2001)
By Robert G. Bednarik
This is the first comprehensive academic textbook about the application of scientific principles and methods in the study of pre-Historic art. The volume is especially intended for use by researchers, teachers, students, authors, conservators, site managers and administrators concerned with the study, analysis or protection of rock art. It is an essential source for academics in archaeology and several other disciplines concerned with this cultural resource. A tightly written text covers fundamental issues, such as the sometimes difficult task of discriminating between natural and humanly made rock markings; and various aspects of epistemology, including a summary of the historical development of the discipline. Detailed chapters consider the technology of rock art, how it was produced, all of the methods used in its dating, and those of recording rock art. The technical chapters are completed with a detailed description of rock art preservation and site management practices. The various approaches to the interpretation of rock art are examined, including those derived from ethnography, iconography, universals in art, internal analysis, statistics and taphonomy. Specific methods of rock art analysis are considered in a separate chapter, covering colour calibration, microscopy, nanostratigraphy and physical sampling. This is followed by a discussion of the rich record of portable pre-Historic art objects, such as manuports, mobiliary engravings, figurines, plaques, beads and pendants. Also considered are fakes and misidentifications, and the technological analysis of portable objects is detailed. This comprehensive, highly informative and thoroughly referenced up-to-date volume is completed with a glossary, a list of information resources and an index.
Rock art research is a rapidly developing field of investigation that has traditionally suffered from idiosyncratic, disjointed and unfocused research efforts. This much-needed standard textbook provides not only a reference benchmark for the discipline, it brings to this task a relentless epistemic rigour and an uncompromising logic defining what is and what is not science in rock art studies.
Special offer to members of the 38 rock art organisations affiliated with IFRAO 40% introductory discount
Reduction from EURO 74.00 to EURO 44.40 plus shipping.
Volume 2. GLOSSARY OF ROCK ART RESEARCH: a multilingual dictionary (2002)
Edited by Robert G. Bednarik, Mario Consens, Alfred Muzzolini, Jakov Sher and Dario Seglie
This is the first dictionary compiled specifically for rock art research. It follows the publication of an English rock art glossary in the journal Rock Art Research in November 2000. To be adopted by the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO), it has been translated by some of the world’s foremost scholars in the field into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. In a discipline that has hitherto been without an agreed terminology, even communication within a single language has been difficult. The proliferation of idiosyncratic terminologies of often academically isolated researchers, many of which have been used by only one scholar, has not only retarded progress and the transference of knowledge, it has led to countless misunderstandings and even personal feuds. The purpose of this dictionary is to create a single terminological standard as well as a cross-lingual uniformity of usage. It focuses particularly on scientific aspects, technical applications and epistemological rigour. It does not set out to create a terminological straitjacket for the discipline, but a common standard of reference, particularly in areas that have in the past been susceptible to greatly differing interpretations.
This dictionary comprises seven sections in seven languages, each listing the same terms alphabetically. It contains also a table interlinking all of these languages, listing all terms explained. This translation table is organised alphabetically according to the English terms. The volume is indispensable for scientific translators, rock art scholars, archaeologists and others concerned with aspects of pre-Historic rock art, and is also intended for the guidance of students and authors working in this field.
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