Showcases the wealth of new research on sacred imagery found in twelve states and four Canadian provinces
In archaeology, rock-art—any long-lasting marking made on a natural surface—is similar to material culture (pottery and tools) because it provides a record of human activity and ideology at that site. Petroglyphs, pictographs, and dendroglyphs (tree carvings) have been discovered and recorded throughout the eastern woodlands of North America on boulders, bluffs, and trees, in caves and in rock shelters. These cultural remnants scattered on the landscape can tell us much about the belief systems of the inhabitants that left them behind.
The Rock-Art of Eastern North America brings together 20 papers from recent research at sites in eastern North America, where humidity and the actions of weather, including acid rain, can be very damaging over time. Contributors to this volume range from professional archaeologists and art historians to avocational archaeologists, including a surgeon, a lawyer, two photographers, and an aerospace engineer. They present information, drawings, and photographs of sites ranging from the Seven Sacred Stones in Iowa to the Bald Friar Petroglyphs of Maryland and from the Lincoln Rise Site in Tennessee to the Nisula Site in Quebec.
Discussions of the significance of artist gender, the relationship of rock-art to mortuary caves, and the suggestive link to the peopling of the continent are particularly notable contributions. Discussions include the history, ethnography, recording methods, dating, and analysis of the subject sites and integrate these with the known archaeological data.