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On confluence and contestation in the Orinoco interaction sphere: the engraved rock art of the Atures Rapids

  • Philip Riris (a1)

The Atures Rapids have long been considered a major point of confluence in the Middle Orinoco landscape, Venezuela. This has been underlined by newly discovered rock art panels on islands within the Rapids and on the margins of the Orinoco River. The panels were recorded photographically and photogrammetrically, and the spatial organisation and taphonomic factors affecting the corpus were investigated. The rock art was also examined in the context of established models of chronology and authorship. Placing the corpus in relation to archaeological and ethnographic evidence from Amazonia and the Guianas emphasises how the Atures Rapids structured pre-Columbian and Colonial contact between diverse groups in lowland South America.

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