This international volume draws together key research that examines visual arts of the past and contemporary indigenous societies. Placing each art style in its temporal and geographic context, the contributors show how depictions represent social mechanisms of identity construction, and how stylistic differences in product and process serve to reinforce cultural identity. Examples stretch from the Paleolithic to contemporary world and include rock art, body art, and portable arts. Ethnographic studies of contemporary art production and use, such as among contemporary Aboriginal groups, are included to help illuminate artistic practices and meanings in the past. The volume reflects the diversity of approaches used by archaeologists to incorporate visual arts into their analysis of past cultures and should be of great value to archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians. Sponsored by the World Archaeological Congress.