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A vast art gallery - the work of 1500 generations...Across an island continent - on flat slabs overlooking the sea, on desert boulders, under rock overhangs, on the sheer face of deep ravines - the first Australians painted and carved what mattered to them...Here are stories of the birth of the world and the creation of ancestral humans, of the creatures who made the landscape and gave humans their laws, of the animals who shared these peoples' world, of contact with seafaring races from the north, and of fateful meetings with European arrivals...Here is art that reaches back towards the beginning of art, a record of communities of immense antiquity. Some sites present the art of recent times alongside or overlapping with art many thousands of years old. In other places the record has been broken in the distant past...How do we read these stories? How can this art yield up some of its meanings to strangers? How do we learn to appreciate the richness of this ancient legacy?..Mike Morwood, archaeologist and teacher, draws upon many years' experience, comparisons with rock art across the world, and a deep understanding of the present-day custodians of this vast treasure to provide a key to the world's oldest and most remarkable art gallery. Visions from the Past tells the exciting story of how the study of rock art is undertaken, providing information on its systems of meaning and changes over time, and revealing how an understanding of these ancient forms contributes to our knowledge of Australia's immense prehistory...An excellent introduction, comprehensive, superbly illustrated and emphasising the chronological depth and regional variation of this artistic heritage. An authoritative, clearly documented case for treating Australia as the rock art capital of the world. John Mulvaney...A definitive text, insightful, informative, always interesting. Claire Smith, Flinders University, Adelaide.
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 1st July 2002
Edition Number: 1