Megalithic Rock Art of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Seaboard Europe

George Nash*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

4 Citations (Scopus)


The mid-seventh millennium BP witnessed the emergence of a European pictographic language based on a common repertoire of abstract and figurative motifs. Although largely confined to passage grave communities occupying the coastal fringes of Atlantic Europe, the megalithic art tradition unified much of the Neolithic world from the Mediterranean to northern Scotland over a period of some 3,000 years. The art itself appears to have acted as a personal signature, unique to each monument and its builders, but drawing on a limited set of symbols. This chapter explores the geographic extent of this mainly abstract motif repertoire, and proposes that, over time and space, key symbols may have changed their meaning(s).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Rock Art
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781444334241
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2012


  • Art and architecture interplay
  • Artistic repertoire in burial-ritual monuments of Neolithic, on external panels
  • European pictographic language and abstract, and figurative motifs
  • Interpreting repertoire of rock art symbols, recurring in the Neolithic core
  • Megalithic art, representative and abstract carved, and painted motifs
  • Megalithic rock art, of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Seaboard Europe
  • Passage graves, carvings in inner passage, role in the movement of the dead
  • Rock art at the regional level


Dive into the research topics of 'Megalithic Rock Art of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Seaboard Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this