An investigation into the prehistoric cup and ring engravings of the British Isles, with reference to Galacia

Jackson, Peter Jonathan (1989) An investigation into the prehistoric cup and ring engravings of the British Isles, with reference to Galacia. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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This thesis is concerned with the prehistoric Cup and Ring engravings which are found on the natural rock in the British Isles and Ireland, it also refers to the similar petroglyphs in Galicia. The aim is to investigate a number of avenues of approach to the art, some well trodden and others relatively unexplored. A careful consideration is given to the concept of art, both in its use in Western society, and with reference to other simpler social groupings. The use of analogy is examined, since ethnological material is referred to and used later in the study. The literature on the Cup and Ring engravings is analysed in some detail for the evaluation and extraction of ideas which may have been overlooked or have become more relevant today. The dating of Rock Art tends to be elusive. Most relevant criteria which may relate to the forming of a chronology for the Cup and Rings has been examined, re-evaluated, and conclusions drawn. Various approaches to recording and methodology are analysed in relation to the material being studied; questions of objectivity and preservation are raised. In order to pursue the explanation of the Cup and Rings a little farther beyond the descriptive level; a structural approach is taken in this study. A spatial analysis of the symbols and their grouping or setting leads to the identification of triadic or diadic structures, these are then used to identify the basic principles underlying the cultural and social background. Following from other anthropological studies a grammatical syntax is developed for the Cup and Rings; this is then used to suggest a way forward for the forming of a typology based on criteria which avoids the use of the subjective process of identifying shapes and symbols. Various hypotheses suggest how the identified types might relate to subcultural groupings or chronological development. Finally some further possible avenues of study which stem from the ideas in this thesis are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13408
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2014 14:23
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 03:32

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