Intersubjectivity and understanding rock art

22nd November 2013

Robert Layton


As a student in the mid-1960s, and in the early 1970s as a junior lecturer, I worked with Peter Ucko and Andree Rosenfeld on a project studying the prehistoric rock art of northern Spain. These beautiful paintings and engraving were made between ten and twenty thousand years ago by the hunter-gatherers of the Solutrian and Magdalenian. Although apparently full of meaning for their creators, they are tantalisingly silent today. The frustration of not knowing how to interpret them lured me to Australia in 1974, to work with living hunter-gatherer communities on their art. Although, in the end, I did more work on land claims than on rock art over the next seven years, the problem of interpreting the past and present art of other cultures has remained with me.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Layton, R.
Intersubjectivity and understanding rock art
December 2000
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