Engendering Rock Art

Kelley Hays-Gilpin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Paintings and engravings on cliffs, boulders, and the walls of rock-shelters and caves often can be better understood by thinking about them with gender in mind. Who made images on stone? What kinds of people do anthropomorphic images represent? More important, what can rock art tell us about the gendered lives and gendered worldviews of ancient peoples? This chapter explores the often complicated gendered dimensions of rock art iconography, technology, style, and landscape placement. All art is gendered, be it images that represent bodies or those that are abstract. Art is gendered by codes of production, who produces it and who consumes it. (Dowson 2001 :321).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Rock Art
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781444334241
StatePublished - Jul 23 2012


  • Complicated gendered dimensions of rock art iconography, style
  • Cultural roles of making rock art, in shaping gender identities
  • De-gendering rock art, stereotypes by cultural interpretation
  • Engendered approaches, sex categories as socially constructed
  • Engendering rock art
  • Gender and social identities, structures, work roles and kinship systems
  • Gender as cultural values inscribed on sex, as structuring principle in all cultures
  • Gender intersecting with age, ethnicity, sexuality, and work roles
  • Making rock art, as part of puberty rituals in several cultures
  • Understanding paintings and engravings of caves, with gender in mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Engendering Rock Art'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this