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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Archaeology of Myth: Rock Art, Ritual Objects, and Mythical Landscapes of the Klamath Basin

  • Author(s): David, Robert J.
  • et al.

Recent research in the Klamath Basin has shown that rock art and landscape are intimately connected, mutually informed by indigenous notions of sacred places. Modeling this landscape has been possible through an understanding of Klamath–Modoc myth. This has led some researchers to derive general interpretations of the rock art that are largely in agreement with Klamath–Modoc spiritual beliefs. I take this approach a step further and propose interpretations for specific rock art images and ritual objects, arguing that oral traditions harbor the fundamental logic that underpinned shamanic rituals that led to the creation of these paraphernalia.

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