•  
  •  
 

Abstract

This paper asks whether an aesthetics of Paleolithic tools is possible, and if so, what it might be. The application of our own aesthetic sensibilities to artifacts of prehistory is not difficult. We easily recognize and appreciate their visual and tactile qualities. The more complicated questions that the paper explores are whether we can uncover the aesthetic sensibilities of their makers and, if we cannot, whether aesthetic examination of prehistoric tools from our own perspectives is adequate or useful. The paper is based on study of Paleolithic flints from French archaeological sites dating from about 500,000 years ago to about 11,000 years ago. The stone tools are held in the collections of the Wilson Museum (Castine, Maine, U.S.A.), and the paper is illustrated from these collections.

Included in

Esthetics Commons

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.