The age of Australian rock art: a review
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The growing corpus of 'direct dates' for rock art around the world has changed the way researchers understand rock art. 'Direct dating' refers to methods for obtaining chronometric ages through the dating of material directly associated with motifs, thus providing minimum, maximum or actual ages. Materials associated with rock art that may be directly dated include the original media (e.g. beeswax), organic binders found in pigment, or natural coatings (e.g. wasp nests) which can either provide a terminus ante quem or terminus post quem for art. In Australia, 432 direct dates for rock art are now available, providing the basis for developing absolute chronologies for rock art regions and specific periods within them. In this paper we review the dating results but caution against using them to derive broad interpretations, especially continent-wide narratives and global comparisons.
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology