Van Gelder on Paleolithic Finger Flutings, the Question of Writing_Smithson on Spiral Jetty (Read Together)

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Van Gelder, L.
Year of Publication: 2014
Journal: Time & Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture
Volume: 7
Start Page: 141
Issue: 2
Pagination: 141-153
Date Published: 02/2014
Publication Language: eng
Keywords: finger flutings, Gargas Cave, Rouffignac Cave, Upper Paleolithic, writing

Discussions of Paleolithic Cave Art rarely, if ever, explore the possibilities of evidence of writing and yet finger flutings (lines made by fingers in soft moonmilch or clay on cave walls and ceilings) raise significant questions as to what is writing and what internal structures would need to be evident within fluted panels to constitute writing. In this paper, the author shares findings from the French caves of Rouffignac and Gargas, and nine caves in Cantabrian, Spain. This paper does not pose to claim that finger flutings are necessarily writing, but instead raises the question of what elements would need to be present for them to be considered writing, and asks what would be the implications if they did.

DOI: 10.1080/1751696X.2014.887344