Rock art dating

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Normally found in literate cultures, a rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone.They are a category of rock art, and sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture.Some archaeologists also consider pits and grooves in the rock, known as cups, rings or cupules, as a form of rock art.Rock art serves multiple purposes in the contemporary world.In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural stone; it is largely synonymous with parietal art.A global phenomenon, rock art is found in many culturally diverse regions of the world.The vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are also found.

The resulting image is a negative print of the hand, and is sometimes described as a "stencil" in Australian archaeology.Once the pigments had been obtained, they would be ground and mixed with a liquid, such as water, blood, urine, or egg yolk, and then applied to the stone as paint using a brush, fingers, or a stamp.Alternately, the pigment could have been applied on dry, such as with a stick of charcoal.The oldest known rock art dates from the Upper Palaeolithic period, having been found in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.Archaeologists studying these artworks believe that they likely had magico-religious significance.

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