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Landscapes, Rock Art and the Dreaming

An Archaeology of Pre-Understanding

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Landscapes, Rock Art and the Dreaming by Bruno David
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During ethnographic times, the Dreaming was the framework of beliefs through which Aboriginal people gave meaning to the world. All peoples, past and present know and experience their world as already meaningful but changing. This is a world of what the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer has called "preunderstanding", a condition of knowledge that shapes one's experience of the world. The known and experienced world is a place of culture; not a place that is, but one that has become, through meaningful engagement. The world is given presence - given pre-sense - through the historicity of one's own being. It is the archaeology of this condition that forms the major theme of this book. By tracing through time the archaeological visibility of one well-known mode of preunderstanding - the Dreaming of Aboriginal Australia - the author argues that it is possible to scientifically explore an archaeology of preunderstanding; of body and mind, identity and Being-in-the-world.

Author Biography

Bruno David is Logan Fellow in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University, Australia. He has published over 100 academic and popular papers and monographs, is coeditor of Inscribed Landscapes, and has been awarded more than 50 prizes and awards, including the inaugural Antiquity Prize for his work on the archaeology of rock-art in Northern Australia
Release date NZ
December 26th, 2002
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
50 illustrations
Leicester University Press
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