The Bradshaw Foundation : Glossary of Terms & Definitions

Glossary of Terms & Definitions | A


abstract image Non-figurative motif not recognizable as an object of the real world.
Acheulean Period Refers to the latter period of the early Stone Age in Africa, overlapping into the middle Stone Age, lasting from about 1.4 million to about 100,000 years ago. It is characterized by bifacial hand axes, which were first recognized at St.Acheul, France [see Hand Axe].
ahu Ceremonial platforms upon which were erected carved moai, on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island.
Altamira A cave in Cantabria, Spain famous for its Upper Palaeolithic paintings. It was the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
altered state of consciousness (ASC) a universal human experience that differs from the 'normal' state of consciousness along a continuum, ranging from daydreaming and sleep to euphoria, deep trance, and near-death experience. Altered states of consciousness are generally accompanied by visions and hallucinations. Inducements include various pathological conditions, sensory deprivation, meditation, and ingestion of hallucinogenic substances.
ancestor Somebody from whom somebody else is directly descended, especially somebody more distant than a grandparent.
anthropic Pertaining to human form.
anthropocentric Relating to imagery that predominantly depicts humanlike figures.
anthropology The study of humanity, attempting to establish what defines Homo sapiens, who our ancestors are, what our physical traits are, how we behave, why there are variations among different groups of humans, and how the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens has influenced its social organization and cul
anthropomorph A term used in rock art studies to describe a motif with human attributes.
archaeology The scientific study of ancient cultures through the examination of their material remains such as buildings, graves, tools, and other artefacts usually dug up from the ground.
atlatl A throwing stick or board designed to add greater propulsion to a dart or spear by extending the thrower's arm; replaced by bow and arrow ca. A.D. 500 in western North America.
Aurignacian An Upper Palaeolithic culture from 37,000 to 27,000 years ago, characterized by the use of bone tools and blade flint technology.
Australopithecus [australis 'southern', Greek pithekos 'ape'] is a genus of extinct hominids, made up of the gracile [gracefully slender] australopiths, and formerly also included their larger relatives, the robust australopiths. The genus Australopithecus is closely related to the human genus Homo, and may be ancestral to it. Australopithecus afarensis [Lucy, 3.9 to 3 million years ago], Australopithecus africanus [3 to 2.4 million years ago] and Australopithecus boisei [2.7 to 1.4 million years ago] are among the most famous of the extinct hominins.
Azilian The latest culture of the Upper Palaeolithic in central and south western France and northern Spain, around 8,000 BC. It was the end of the Magdalenian culture, with a warmer climate and a gradual end of the Ice Age. The type-site is Mas d'Azil in the French Pyrenees, with its painted pebbles, microliths with rounded backs [Azilian points] and crude flat bone harpoons.
bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates


First Name

Last Name


Sponsored Links
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Privacy Policy Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Banksy Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation