Neandertal artists? Exploring misconceptions about Neandertal symbolic capacities through rock art studies.
The question of whether Neandertals created art is one that is currently under debate within the field of prehistoric art studies. Originally thought to be brutish and unintelligent, Neandertals have recently come to be acknowledged as complex humans with symbolic capacities, through discoveries of Neandertal-associated modern behaviours including burials, pigment use, and ornament creation. One of the last hold outs separating the symbolic and artistic abilities of Neandertals from those of Modern Humans (Homo sapiens) has been the creation of rock art. This is now being challenged by recent discoveries of possible Neandertal rock art in Spain and Gibraltar. This paper will discuss what the implications would be if Neandertals did, in fact, create rock art, and how it would affect the way we study rock art and conceptualize the uniqueness of humans.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017) •
- Methodology and Interpretation in the Archaeology of Rock Art
Cite this Record
Neandertal artists? Exploring misconceptions about Neandertal symbolic capacities through rock art studies.. Amy Chase, Genevieve von Petzinger, Oscar Moro Abadia. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429191)
min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14545