Recent Rock Art Research in China
Rock art in China is both diverse and widespread, being found almost anywhere there are suitable rock surfaces. However, pictographs and petroglyphs have very different distributions, the latter more often located in the north and east (Figure 1) and the former most frequently in the south and west of the country (Figures 2 and 3; see excellent distribution map in Zhang 2014c: 88). Hand stencils are rare compared to Australia and western Europe but have been found in various parts of the country. The rock art of China has been studied and remarked upon by Chinese scholars for at least 2300 years (Chen 2001: 762; Liao 1939) but it has only been in the past decade that researchers outside China have paid serious attention to Chinese rock art. Indeed, previous volumes of Rock Art: News of the World have reported little from China and in the last one, volume 4, only research in Yunnan Province was mentioned in a greater Southeast Asian context (Taçon and Tan 2012). This is partly because very little rock art research took place in China between 1997 and 2007 (Zhang 2014c: 87).
Rock Art Studies: News of the World V
Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas