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The semantics of signs in rock art: structures of cognition

Grant number: 10/00116-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2010
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology
Principal Investigator:Levy Figuti
Grantee:Carolina Machado Guedes
Home Institution: Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia (MAE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The creation and expression through the artwork cave is testimony sui generis of the enormous capacity of human intelligence. They point to the uniqueness of man, a cultural agent that is always connected to two poles, reason and emotion, two qualities inherent in man which provide the raw material for endless creations. We understand the rock record as a manifestation of thought, an abstraction imagery, a rational and intentional language perpetuated in symbols and signs. We emphasize at the outset that only the articulate expression of these thoughts, that is, the language was perpetuated, and not their meanings, except in ethnographic correspondence. Long anatomically modern man has made clear its great need to express themselves, about their world and wonder about it, whether by spoken or written words, through philosophical, historical studies, through architecture, literature, art. This variety of creation points to the incredible power of abstraction and the endless amount of mental constructs that we can do. The rock art is also invested in the vision of achieving an imaginary, it witnesses the mental activities, forming systems of representations that show a history of the evolution of the human brain. In this design, rock art are above all, symbolic abstractions of thought, of several prehistoric groups who inhabited Brazil and the world. The invention of the homo sapiens of graphical representations in the "parietal art and figurative iconography, are dated from 30,000 to 25,000 years. This PhD project proposes the study and analysis of geometric rock records, (symbols and signs) targeting the semantic structures of the devices against a background of the structures of human intelligence, the cognitive processes. (AU)

Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
GUEDES, Carolina Machado. Semantics of rock art signs: cognition structures. 2014. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia São Paulo.

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