open to speculative interpretation

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Senior Member

Early in the nineteenth century, encounters with Aboriginal rock art tended to be infrequent and open to speculative interpretation, but since the late nineteenth century, awareness of the extent and variety of Australian rock art has been growing.

(This comes from a TOEFL reading comprehension about Rock Art of the Australia Aborigines on a Chinese website.)

Does the blue part mean "encounters were affected by speculative interpretation"? I feel it should be the art was affected by speculative interpretation

Thanks in advance!
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yes, I see your point. However, upon re-reading, I think indeed that "encounters were affected by speculative interpretation" means that the encounters were interpreted as authentic or non-authentic (they might not have been "encounters" to begin with, but mistakenly interpreted as other words, what they found was not really "primitive art" but something else.
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