Licia Filingeri and Pietro Gaietto

Genova, Italy, Europe


Currently the prehistoric art is studied with the methods of the "history of the art", that are not apt to the study of the prehistoric art.
In order to become aware of the difficulty in which are the studies of the prehistoric art, it is sufficient to analyze how much have made the other sciences that study the Man.
The Paleoanthropology, through the study of the fossil remains, gives to us a complete picture of the evolutive process of the man and all over in the world, with continuous updatings, result of always new discoveries.
The Palethnology (material culture) gives to us a complete picture from the origins of the fabrication of the artefacts and all over the world, always with continuous updatings for the discovery of new sites.
For the prehistoric art, instead, there are no studies of whole. In order to having a general vision of the prehistoric art, a book does not exist, because a science of the prehistoric art does not exist, and therefore, who wants to be documented, must consult some hundred of books.
For it, who loves the prehistoric art (scientist, amateur and owner of website of prehistoric art), is invited to contribute to the foundation of the Paleoarteology.


To him who wants to participate to the foundation of the "science of the prehistoric art", we give some suggestions about these that could be the methods and the criteria of definition, which, however, can be accepted all or in part; indeed, we hope that the participants add many suggestions on the base of their experience.

1) The Paleoarteology would have to comprise the Paleolithic, the Mesolithic, the Neolithic, the Age of the Metals, and the Ethnography until our days. They would remain excluded the peoples with writing, appanage of the "history of the art".

2) Object of study of the Paleoarteology would be the sculpture, the paintings in cave and outside cave, the rock graffiti, the menhir, the dolmen, the first architecture, the decorated tools, the ceramics, etc.

3) The art was produced for cult rituals, that is for the religion. Therefore, in the study, to classify it like such; as an example: if it is matter of zoomorphic paintings in cave, one different from the other, put it under the entry "magical rituals" or other denomination; if instead it is matter of post-paleolithic sculptures with representation of always equal divinities, then use the "idolatry" word.
However, the religions are so many, as the several types of art, and are all to interpret, and will have to be invented some names in order to classify them.

4) Important is the study of the styles. The style is the language of the art, that is of the representation. As an example, the man near every prehistoric civilization is represented in a different style (lengthened, geometric, with abolition of particulars like the features of the face, or of the feet, much realistic, etc). Therefore will have to be found new denominations for the styles, in how much these now in use are insufficient; as an example: style I, II, III, etc, or schematic style, or stylized, etc.

5) A lot important is the Linguistic (the writing), the most ancient of the sciences. This science does not regard the Prehistory, but traces its limits. An example: recently, in a conference near the International Institute of Studi Liguri of Genova, we have learned about the inscription of celtic names in Etruscan writing on works of prehistoric art of people without writing of northern Italy. Therefore, co-existence of different art and religions, between three people in contact, probably for commercial causes .

6) Have to be promoted regional, continental and intercontinental parallelisms, both for affinity, and for diversity. As an example: Valcamonica, Northern Italy (130,000 petroglyphs ), with a people without writing but specialized in the working of the wrought iron (weapons, tools, etc). They have been found trades relations with Mycene (Peloponneso, Greece). The Camuni and the Myceneans had different religions and different artistic applications. The Myceneans had sculptures of divinities all equal, therefore "idolatry". Therefore, co-existence of different art and religions, between two peoples (civilizations) in contact.

7) The Paleoarteology must program the study of the evolution of the art. This evolution, however, does not concern all the components of the art work, which are many. We cite alone three: the represented subject depends from the religion, therefore, if changes the religion, changes the subject; the style, that is the stylistic deformation, does not have evolution, but only transformation, and does not have quality, at least in our opinion; the working technique, instead, has evolution, in how much in the time we can see improvements of the quality of the art work. The connections between the works of art of a civilization with those of an other, from which it is believed that this can derivate, are not made from the whole of the art works, but from the several components of every work of art.

8) In order to construct the Paleoarteology it is necessary, also, see again all the studies on the prehistoric art made in the past, nothing must be considered obsolete, at most there are to see again the datings, and rediscussing the interpretations.

9) In the publication of photographies of prehistoric art it is necessary to put complete figure captions comprising:
- explanation of the represented subject (e.g.: man with arc, taurus in race, etc.)
- shape of artistic expression (e.g.: sculpture, graffito, etc.)
- material used (e.g.: granito, ivory, etc.)
- dating (if it is known)
- attribution of the material culture (e.g.: Mesolithic, Neolithic, etc.)
- the size: height, width, long.
- the people who have produced it (e.g.: Celts, Ligurians, etc.)
- the origin zone (e.g.: cave of..., Diggings of..., etc.)
- the actual collocation (es: Museum of...,etc)

10) In the publication of photographies of prehistoric art it is necessary to previlegiate the more meaningful works of a period, instead talk, then the aesthetic appreciation. Moreover, to avoid the photographies of single particulars of the art work. Every work must be photographed complete, and, in the case of sculptures, if they have images on more sides, all must be photographed.


1) Who wants to patecipare to the foundation of a Paleoarteology must send his proposals to us, or to communicate if he approves the 10 expressed suggestions or some of these, bringing eventual modifications or addings. We have been synthetic, but in order to determine exactly some methods, criteria of classification and constructing a general picture of the evolution of the art, it is necessary to widen a lot what we have written, and is necessary the experience of all.
Writing to us, please say the BELONGING NATION (e.g.: France, Japan, etc), and, if you are available TO SUMMARIZE the MAILS that will arrive to us from your Nation. It is important that at least one person for Nation produces a synthesis of mails of his Nation.

2) Owners of websites that have for partial or total object the prehistoric art, if they wish to participate to the foundation of the Paleoarteology, are authorized to publish this our call, and to receive letters from their readers. These mails will be sended from the several websites to one or more scientists or amateurs of the belonging Nation, which will make a summary of all the mails of their Nation.
The several websites must obviously take contact between them and with us for the sorting of the mails.

3) The mails of the participants must be sended to the websites WITHIN SEPTEMBER, 30, 2002.

4) The people in charge to summarize the mails of every Nation, will receive mails every time arrived to the website. These summaries will have to be ready WITHIN NOVEMBER, 15, 2002, better if before, and will have to be sent to all the websites attending to it, that, if they want, can begin to publish them.

5) This program is set up for being AUTOMANAGED BY SCIENTISTS, AMATEURS and OWNERS OF WEBSITES OF PREHISTORIC ART, then these summaries will have to be transmitted, through the several websites, to persons who make the summary of the mails of every Nation of the own Continent, in order to obtain the proposals from AFRICA, AMERICA, ASIA, EUROPE, OCEANIA.

6) It will follow a summary of the proposals of the five Continents.

7) The participants to the foundation of the Palearteologia, both the persons and the websites, will be enrolled in a Album in memory of this event.

8) All the results will be published on the Liguria Paleolithic Art Magazine

9) For further information, and in order to send the mail with your opinions: e-mail

Prof. Licia Filingeri

Genova, Italy, July 8, 2002

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