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East Spanish rock art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An art style of southeastern Spain, found on the walls of shallow rock shelters and probably of the Mesolithic period. The subjects are lively scenes from everyday life, with warriors, hunters, dancers, and animals. The style is unlike that of cave art, the figures being small and painted in solid colors with no attempt at light and shade.
Fort Rock Cave
DEFINITION: An ancient Pleistocene site in Oregon dated to over 13,000 BP and associated sites with a long sequence of occupation in the same lake basin. Deposits of pumice from an eruption of nearby Mount Mazama in c 5000 bc provided excellent chronological control for these sites. Associated artifacts, including a mano and metate, projectile points, and other stone artifacts indicate an early hunting and gathering subsistence pattern for this period. Later contexts contain artifacts of the Desert Tradition. Occupation continued into historic times, but looting has caused the archaeological record to be unreliable after c 1000 BC.
Mushroom Rock
DEFINITION: Painted sandstone shelter in Cape York, Australia, first occupied in the Late Pleistocene. There is the earlier Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition and the later Australian Small Tool Tradition.
Rocky Cape
DEFINITION: Northern Tasmania site with the longest continuous sequence of a coastal midden in Australia. The South Cave was occupied from 8000-3800 bp and its living floor is dated c 6800 bp; the North Cave was used from c 5500 bp.
bedrock feature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A feature constructed into bedrock that does not fit any other feature type.
bedrock mortar
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A deep basin set in granite or other large rock outcroppings, formed by the grinding or crushing of foods with stone. A flat or shallow surface of this same type is called a bedrock grinding slick.
clastic rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rock composed of broken pieces of older rocks
fire-cracked rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Rocks which have been cracked or broken by the heat of a fire. A common element in aboriginal campsite debris.
igneous rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rock which originated as molten magma from beneath the earth's surface and subsequently came to the surface as an extrusion, or remained below ground as an intrusion. The nature of the rock depends in part on the rate at which it cooled; as intrusions of magma slowly solidify, enough time elapses for large crystals to form whereas extrusions cool quickly, leaving little time for crystal growth. Thus, a coarse-grained, intrusive igneous rock has a fine-grained, extrusive counterpart; granite is coarse rhyolite and gabbro is coarse basalt. Igneous rocks are also classified as acid or basic, according to whether their silica content is high (e.g. granite), or low (e.g. basalt).
metamorphic rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Rocks which have been changed from their original form by heat or by pressure beneath the surface of the earth. Metamorphic transformations include limestone to marble, shale to slate, and slate to schist. When magma forms an intrusion, it heats and alters the surrounding rocks by contact metamorphism, which forms a ring of altered rocks?the metamorphic aureole?around the intrusion.
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: An aggregate of one or more minerals that can be defined by both physical properties and mineral content. The three forms are igneous, rock that has cooled from a molten state; sedimentary, rock that has formed through the accretion of sediments; and metamorphic, rock formed from preexisting rocks subjected to extreme heat, pressure, or chemical change.
rock alignment
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A design created by an arrangement of rocks, typically found across desert plains; usually the complete image can be discerned only aerially.
rock art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Painting and engraving on rock or cave surfaces, done as decoration, depiction of narratives, or for religious purposes. There are petroglyphs (carvings on rock face), engravings (incisions), and pictographs (paintings on rock surfaces). A great deal of rock art occurs throughout African continent. In contrast to painted caves of Europe, the African art takes the form either of paintings in rock shelters (not in caves) or engraving on open rock outcrops or boulders.
rock varnish
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Natural accretions of manganese and iron oxides, together with clay minerals and organic matter, which can provide valuable environmental evidence. When combined with radiocarbon methods, the study of rock varnishes can provide a minimum age for some landforms and even for some types of stone tool which accumulate varnish.
rock-cut tomb
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A chamber tomb cut into solid rock. In Egypt, this method was used during Middle Kingdom (c 1938-1600 BC); examples are found in cliffs along the Nile, burials in the Valley of the Kings, and tombs of the nobles at Luxor. In the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BC) the kings were buried in rock-cut tombs, but separate mortuary temples continued to be built nearby. Rock-cut tombs are either made directly from a cliff face, by cutting a vertical shaft from the surface, or by a sloping or stepped passage (dromos). Rock-cut tombs are particularly common in the Mediterranean region, where they occur from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. They may be used either for single or collective burial.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rock shelter, rockshelter, abri
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A natural cave with a roof of overlying rock that extends beyond the sides of the cave; a cave that is formed by a ledge of overhanging rock. Such a shallow cave or cliff overhang was used by humans to provide shelter from the elements, especially hunters and gatherers. The shelter is not deep enough to be classed as a cave.
rock-shelter tomb
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A burial in a rock shelter, a place of habitation and ritualistic practices.
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An Egyptian temple cut into a solid outcrop of rock, particularly in Nubia's sandstone cliffs.
rocker jaw
DEFINITION: Distinctive anatomical feature of Polynesian peoples, where the lower edge of the mandible is convex.
rocker pattern
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of pottery decoration in which a straight or curved edge is moved across the soft clay by pivoting on alternate corners, the result being a zigzag of curved lines. The technique was discovered and employed in a number of different times and places - the Neolithic impressed ware of central Mediterranean, the Iron Age of the Sudan and of Manchuria, in North America (Hopewell), and widely in pre-Classic cultures of Middle and South America.
sedimentary rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Rock that is the result of consolidation of sediments.

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