Carbon dating rock art
Normally found in literate cultures, a rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone.They are a category of rock art, and sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture.The archaeological sub-discipline of rock art studies first developed in the late-19th century among Francophone scholars studying the Upper Palaeolithic rock art found in the cave systems of Western Europe.Rock art continues to be of importance to indigenous peoples in various parts of the world, who view them as both sacred items and significant components of their cultural patrimony.Some archaeologists also consider pits and grooves in the rock, known as cups, rings or cupules, as a form of rock art.
A few such works exploit the natural contours of the rock and use them to define an image, but they do not amount to man-made reliefs.
The vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are also found.
The term typically excludes relief carvings inside caves, whether natural or themselves man-made, which are especially found in India.
In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural stone; it is largely synonymous with parietal art.
A global phenomenon, rock art is found in many culturally diverse regions of the world.Most have figures that are over life-size, and in many the figures are multiples of life-size.