CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


LI Fushun
A Survey on the Methods of Dating Rock Art in China

Session 5 Self-Awareness or Self-Affirmation

Capital Normal University


The dating of rock art is a very important and knotty issue in the field of rock art studies. At present, there are two major ones by Chinese scholars: direct and indirect dating. The direct dating method means taking material from the surface of rock paintings and dating it by chemical analysis. By the indirect dating method we mean that without touching its surface directly we can infer its date by studying the relationship between rock art and archaeology. These methods can be summarized as follows: 1. Dating by means of Carbon-14 and pollen analysis. 2. Dating by rise and fall of animal kinds and genera. 3. Inferring the age of rock art by comparing it with accounts of ancient documents. 4. Inferring the age of rock art by comparing it with unearthed artifacts. 5. Inferring the age of rock art from its weathering. 6. Dating by analyzing the painting skills of rock art. 7. Inferring the age of rock art by analyzing its themes. 8. Dating the rock art by analyzing its artistic style. 9. Dating the rock art by folklore material. 10. Analyzing the course of development of Chinese characters. 

LI Fushun

Li Fushun, born in Beijing, graduated from Fine Arts School Affiliated to China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1961, and in 1966 graduated from the Department of Art History at Central Academy of Fine Art, works at Capital Normal University as a Professor and PHD supervisor. He is a member of China Artists Association, the committee member of the International Rock Art Committee organized by UNESCO, vice president of the Chinese Rock Art Association, expert in the Chinese Ministry of Education’s assessment panel for university level art disciplines and expert in the Chinese Ministry of Education’s assessment panel for social sciences. Up to the present, he has published more than a hundred articles and ten monographs in China. He is the chief editor of “The Art History of Beijing”, a social sciences project of the city of Beijing. Li has received the Beijing Social Sciences Literary Award and the second prize of the Ministry of Education’s Award for University Level Social Sciences Research. He is one of editors for “Collection of Chinese Fine Art - Sculptures” and “Collection of Chinese Rock Art”.