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This article is devoted to the problems of analysis, interpretation and terminological tools used in the study of various categories of art in the ancient cultures of the Pacific basin. Based jn the examples of the original ceramic complexes of Daigi, Kasori and Karakusamon of the Middle Jōmon period (5000–4000 BP) on Honshu Island, Japanese archipelago and rock art sites (from the Late Paleolithic to the Middle Ages – 40000 BP to XIV–XVI centuries) in the island part of Southeast Asia (Sulawesi, Java, Flores, New Guinea) and Northern Australia (Arnhemland), author demonstrats the experience of using the term “style” in the selection of local traditions and multitemporal layers of images (Paleolithic, pre-Neolithic, Austronesian, and Medieval). Little-known to Russian specialists information on the history of the discovery and the fi rst attempts of typological and chronological interpretations of ceramics and cave paintings in the Pacific basin in the early – fi rst half of the 20th century is presented, as well as the issues of inter-regional and inter-territorial contacts and their different refl ection in the visual style. In the analysis of archaeological materials, both with mass collections and individual fi nds, and, first of all, objects of art stylistic (external) features (shape, colors, size, ornamentation, methods of exposure) are extremely important. In contrast to the technological characteristics that reflect the evolution of technical skills, the stylistic ones are associated with individual (as well as group) aesthetic and decorative preferences, and visual effect, which sought to achieve by the ancient experts.


Pacific basin, Japan, Southeast Asia, Jōmon, ceramic, rock art, styles.

Andrey V. Tabarev, Darya A. Ivanova

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SBRAS, Novosibirsk, Russia

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