Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...
for any human-made markings made on natural stone. They can be divided into:
- PetroglyphPetroglyphPetroglyphs are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images...
s - carvings into stone surfaces
- Pictographs - rock and cave paintingCave paintingCave paintings are paintings on cave walls and ceilings, and the term is used especially for those dating to prehistoric times. The earliest European cave paintings date to the Aurignacian, some 32,000 years ago. The purpose of the paleolithic cave paintings is not known...
In addition, petroforms and inukshuk
An inuksuk is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland...
s are rock art made by aligning or piling natural stones. The stones themselves are used as large markings on the ground.
The term "rock art" appears in the published literature as early as the 1940s.