Robinson, David Wayne, Korisettar, R and Koshey, J
Metanarratives and the (re)invention of the Neolithic: a case study in rock-art from Birappa and Hiregudda Hill, Souht-Central India.
Journal of Social Archaeology, 8
Rock-art reflects cultural narratives and is influential as a medium in the invention of narratives. Images found in South-Central Indian rock-art are particularly useful in considering archaeological transitions. Rock-art here shows a chronology spanning the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Historic, and Modern times. Imagery reflects changing human/animal relationships, from ‘agile’ hunted animals to cattle and its domestication, with rock-art an active medium in the creation of new metanarratives focused obsessively upon bulls. While bulls in the singular appear early, later compositional elements imply a growing concern with ideas of herds as interconnecting communities. Through time, panels were focal points for the addition of subsequent anthropomorphic imagery, further reinventing the Neolithic. A Historic period efflorescence of densely applied rock-art perhaps reflects an appropriation of a locality redolent with the past as new mythologies were invented in the ancestral association with the now millennia-old Neolithic rock-art.