Rock Art Round Table

At the IFRAO conference on prehistoric rock art around the world earlier this month in France, several presenters gathered for a round table discussion to bridge the gaps between different fields of research and paint a fuller picture of the latest theories around the lives and art of stone age peoples.

By Andrew Howley

Tarascon-sur-Ariège, France–During a break in presentations of the “Signs, Symbols, Myth” symposium at the conference, we gathered at the request of chairman Dario Seglie of CESMAP and discussed three main topics: the relationship between humans and animals, the process of creating art, and the cultural significance of the art once completed. Participants included (from the right) Juha Pentikainen, Margherita Mussi, Dario Seglie, Enrico Comba, Ellen Dissanayake, me as moderator, Steve Waller and, in the lecture-room, Matteo Scardovelli, Fabio Martini and a few dozen other scholars from the conference.

The roughly 30-minute conversation is shown below, broken up according to the topics listed above.

Special thanks to Dario for proposing the round table, and to all the participants for their contributions.

More blog posts in this series:

Mysteries of Prehistoric Rock Art Probed

Finding Pictures and Meaning in Rock Art

Walking Into the Stone Age

Cracking the Code in the Rocks

Rock Spirits at the Portals to Afterlife

70th Anniversary of the Discovery of Lascaux

Andrew Howley photo 2.jpg

Andrew Howley is a senior producer for National Geographic Digital Media, responsible for editing the National Geographic website home page and the front page of National Geographic Daily News. He also manages the National Geographic Facebook page, which has more than 1,700,000 followers. Prior to joining National Geographic, Andrew was a programming manager at America Online, which included writing promotions for the Welcome Screen. He received a BA in Anthropology (focus on Archaeology) from the College of William & Mary, Virginia. His personal interests are history reading, painting, running, and developing educational projects.

All blog posts by Andrew Howley.

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn