Style: A Strait Jacket on Hunters’ Rock Art Research?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAdoranten 2014, 2013:57-68
Most research on the Palaeolithic cave paintings in Southern Europe has aimed at proving development of different kinds by detecting different styles. The use of style as a dating method has affected our entire view upon humans, technology and society during the Palaeolithic. Researchers have until recently emphasized their trust in style dating. With a rapidly accelerating development within radiocarbon dating of cultural layers and figure pigments, the foundation for a dating system built upon style and technological seriation is heavily contradicted. In similar ways research on the carved panels with hunters’ motifs from the end of the Stone Age in Scandinavia have been heavily influenced by the view that social development could be detected by stylistic development. Also in Scandinavia most researchers have been hesitant to discard style as the most trusted dating method. A few researchers, however, have pointed towards the need for using both shoreline and radiocarbon dating to obtain more tangible data, and see style dating as an outdated method.