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Naturalism, Nature and Questions of Style in Jinsha River Rock Art, Northwest Yunnan, China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2010

Paul S.C. Taçon
Affiliation:
School of Humanities, Gold Coast campus, Griffith University, Queensland 4222, Australia, p.tacon@griffith.edu.au
Li Gang
Affiliation:
Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Cultural Relics, Administration Office, Zhongdian, Yunnan, China, dqwwbh@sohu.com
Yang Decong
Affiliation:
Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, 15-1, Chunmingli, Chunyuanxiaoqu, Kunming, Yunnan 650118, China, decong66@hotmail.com
Sally K. May
Affiliation:
Research School of Humanities, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia, sally.may@anu.edu.au
Liu Hong
Affiliation:
Yunnan Institute of Geography, Yunnan University, No. 20 Xue Fu Road, Kunming, Yunnan 650223, China, hongliu@ynu.edu.cn
Maxime Aubert
Affiliation:
Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia, maxime.aubert@anu.edu.au
Ji Xueping
Affiliation:
Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, 15-1, Chunmingli, Chunyuanxiaoqu, Kunming, Yunnan 650118, China, jxping@public.km.yn.cn
Darren Curnoe
Affiliation:
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia, darren.curnoe@gmail.com
Andy I.R. Herries
Affiliation:
School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia, andyherries@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

The naturalistic rock art of Yunnan Province is poorly known outside of China despite two decades of investigation by local researchers. The authors report on the first major international study of this art, its place in antiquity and its resemblance to some of the rock art of Europe, southern Africa and elsewhere. While not arguing a direct connection between China, Europe and other widely separated places, this article suggests that rock-art studies about the nature of style, culture contact and the transmission of iconography across space and time need to take better account of the results of neuroscience research, similar economic/ecological circumstances and the probability of independent invention.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research 2010

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