Visions of Dynamic power: archaic rock-paintings, Altered states of Consciousness and 'clever men' in western Arnhem Land (NT), Australia.
The Dynamic figures are a distinctive component in the earlier rock-art of western Arnhem Land, north Australia. They include therianthropic (hybrid human–animal) images. Recent vision experience ethnographically known in the region, and the wider pattern of Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) in hunter-gatherer societies, are consistent with elements of the Dynamics. One key feature is the use of dots and dashes in the Dynamic images, explicable as a depiction of some intangible power, of a character comparable with that in the ‘clever men's knowledge’ of modern Arnhem Land. Tropical Australia thereby is added to the number of regions where a visionary element is identified in rock-art; the specific circumstances in Arnhem Land, permitting the use together of formal and of informed methods, provide unusually strong evidence.
Cambridge Archaeological Journal
PRE2009-Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Societies (incl. Pleistocene Archaeology)
PRE2009-Philosophy of Cognition
PRE2009-Social and Cultural Anthropology