Graduate Student Speakers Series 20/11/2015
On Friday, November 20th from 3:15-4pm in QC-2013, Amy Chase will discuss the results of her MA research: "Adventures in Cantabrian Paleolithic Art: Neandertal dots and a thesis on the rocks."
An intense academic debate surrounds the topic of Neandertal art and symbolism. Recent discoveries of possible Neandertal portable art, personal ornaments, paintings, and engravings have further fuelled this discussion. Uranium-series dating of a red painted disk/dot at El Castillo cave (Cantabria, Spain) placed the art at a time when both Neandertals and Modern Humans occupied the area, allowing the possibility that either species were the creators. Fieldwork completed this year aimed to compare the archaeological evidence from the site to the Uranium-series dates provided for the disk, in an effort to determine the plausibility that Neandertals were the creators of the art in question. Excavation records and artifacts from the site layers dating to approximately 40,800 BP (the date provided for the painting) were examined and analysed.
In this presentation, Amy discusses the challenges faced during fieldwork and subsequent changes in research methodology, and offers preliminary results of this research. The results confirm the plausibility that Neandertals were the creators of the art, although further analysis is necessary to understand the role of Modern Humans. This research will contribute to the growing body of knowledge surrounding Neandertal art, and add to our understanding of how perceptions of Neandertals over time may have impacted archaeological analysis of prehistoric art objects.