The interpretation of rock art is the subject’s one aspect most preferred by most archaeologists, and also the one we are usually least qualified to address scientifically. The reasons are complex, and they and the solutions science would most prefer are the main topic of these pages.

The pages below are best read consecutively as they are listed here. They were published in 2001.

Traditional approaches to interpretation

Ethnographic interpretation of rock art

Creating futile iconographic meanings

Objective links between rock art corpora

Universals in arts

Scientifically based interpretation

Fads and beliefs


The following research paper is of relevance to issues of the interpretation of rock art:

Ethnographic analogy in rock art interpretation (March 2011).