This chapter presents a study of rock art variation through time in a high-altitude valley within the Southern Andes (Quebrada de Humahuaca, Argentina). It uses different kinds of regional evidence to contextualize rock art in its broader archaeological context. The variation observed over time in the selection of places, themes, techniques, and substrates is analyzed, together with further archaeological data, to show how people inscribed the land with rock art at different times and with different purposes. This, I argue, was always done symbolically, illustrating the diversity of ways through which societies could culturally appropriate and construct their landscapes. INSCRIBED LANDSCAPES This chapter deals with the potential that rock art has to mark the land, so that these marked places become so socially signifi cant that they assist in the process of cultural appropriation of space to develop this into a landscape. To mark land with rock art, as a socially signifi cant signal of cultural presence, is a form of inscription, which not only physically marks the place, but also creates a social engagement that enhances people ‘ s relation with the land in the sense of creating a place of belonging (after Bradley 1997).
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