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Integral Archaeology: Process Methodologies for Exploring Prehistoric Rock Art on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua



A process-based approach to archaeology combines traditional third-person data collection methods with first- and second-person inquiries. Drawing from the traditions of cognitive archaeology, transpersonal psychology, and ecopsychology, this mixed-methods approach can be thought of as a movement toward a more holistic or “integral” archaeology. By way of example, a prehistoric rock art site on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua is explored from the inside (through the researcher's lucid dreaming incubations) as well as in relationship with the researcher's embodied presence (an exploration of environmental hermeneutics). These multiple perspectives can be seen to situate the researcher's worldview and biases within the context of the study as well as perhaps lead to new questions about the significance of these cognitive artifacts.