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A question of style: reconsidering the stylistic approach to dating Palaeolithic parietal art in France

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 November 2011

Genevieve von Petzinger
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada (Email: gvonpetz@gmail.com; anowell@uvic.ca)
April Nowell
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada (Email: gvonpetz@gmail.com; anowell@uvic.ca)

Extract

The authors deconstruct the basis for dating the Palaeolithic cave paintings of France and find it wanting. Only five per cent are directly dated and the remainder belong to a stylistic framework that has grown organically, and with much circularity, as new paintings were brought to light. Following a constructive bouleversement, the authors recommend a new chronometric foundation based on chains of evidence anchored by radiocarbon dates. The story so far is striking: it brings many of the themes and techniques thought typical of the later painters into the repertoire of their much earlier predecessors.

Type
Research article
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2011

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