Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rock art, Saharan, European and San

Rock art - a term in archeology for both man-make markings made on natural stone. (Wikipedia, 13/04/07, 16:45)Rock art can be divided into two sections - Petroglyphs (Where mark be carved into stone surfaces) and Pictographs (where marks argon made with paint on contention n rolls or caves). Both pertroglyphs and pictographs can be either parietal (on the walls of a cave or swing shelter) or in open air, exposed to the elements on outcrops ect.Petroglyphs are made through the removal of rock, scratching, pecking, carving ect to require rock, exposing the usually lighter rock interior against the darker patina (a dark mineral accumulation on rock surfaces). This was usually done with a sharp, pointed rock harder than the rock being engraved.

Pictographs are made utilise pigments to colour the rock. These images were mostly drawn rather than painted as we paint today. One of the reasons the rock art we study today is still visible is because of the use of mineral pigments, eg. manganese, hematite, malachite, gypsum, limonite, clays and various oxides. The amazingly o.k. lines are evidence of the development of very fine brushes (made from sticks, hairs or feathers), but pallets and hands were also used.

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Most paintings are one colour - most commonly red although most paintings have up to four colours - and usually outlines were drawn fist and then filled in. The image would usually be flat, although there have been examples of shading. The paint was made from a range of substances, consisting of pigment and then a binding.

The SanSan, or the around derogatory term busmen or more offensive hottentot rock art is one of the most well known sectors of rock art in the world. Although it is so well known, there is a lot of confusion and misconceptions about the art.

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