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Bradshaw Foundation Glossary Rock Art Terms Definitions
Bradshaw Foundation Glossary Rock Art Terms Definitions
Bradshaw Foundation Glossary Rock Art Terms Definitions
Bradshaw Foundation
Glossary | B
Terms & Definitions

biocentric
Pertaining to imagery that emphasizes human and animal life-forms.
biomorph
Figure resembling a biological form - human, animal, or plant.
Blombos
Blombos Cave on the Southern Cape coast in South Africa is an archaeological site made famous by Professor Chris Henshilwood’s discovery of two pieces of 70,000 year-old ochre engraved with abstract designs, 75,000 year-old beads made from nassarius shells, and 80,000 year-old bone tools. There is also evidence of shellfishing and possibly fishing dated to 140,000 years ago. The engraved pieces of ochre are regarded as the oldest known artwork or abstract symbolism.
bovid
Collective term for cattle, buffalo, antelope, sheep, and goats.
BP
Before the Present.
Bradshaw Paintings
A distinctive style of rock art found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Named after Joseph Bradshaw who was the first European to discover them in 1891, whilst searching for grazing land for his cattle. The Aboriginal term for these paintings is Gwion Gwion. Archaeologists estimate that there may be more than 100,000 sites spread over 50,000km of the Kimberley. In 1996 one of the paintings was dated by thermoluminescence [see thermoluminescence] analysing an ancient wasp nest covering it. The nest was found to be over 17,000 years old, indicating that some paintings are at least this old. However, because it has been proven that Australia was colonized as early as 65,000 years ago, some argue that these paintings are possibly much older, and possibly the earliest figurative rock art.
burin
A stone tool common in the Upper Palaeolithic. Usually made of flint, it had a bevelled edge that was in particular used to carve and engrave bone.
Bushmen
Collective name used for the earliest modern peoples indigenous to southern Africa. Bushmen have also been called 'San', but some people consider both terms derogatory. Bushmen have no collective name for themselves.

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