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.
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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.
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