The place of art in Mesolithic societies: from technical gesture to graphic abstraction
Esther Lopez Montalvo  1, *@  , Oreto García Puchol  2, *@  
1 : Travaux et recherches archéologiques sur les cultures, les espaces et les sociétés  (TRACES)
Université Toulouse 2, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR5608
Maison de la Recherche, 5 allée Antonio Machado 31058 TOULOUSE Cedex 9 -  France
2 : Departament de Prehistòria i Arqueologia, Universitat de València
* : Corresponding author

The characterisation of the cultural links between the latest hunter-gatherer societies on a European scale has been carried out mainly by focusing on the technological and typological study of the lithic industry. In this context, graphic manifestations were often excluded from the debates. In contrast with the gurative expressions that characterized the art of the Upper Paleolithic, the emergence of graphic abstraction, which has often a dicult reading and interpretation, has even raised doubts about its "artistic" nature, or may have led to it being considered as a "minor" expression. Synthesis studies on Mesolithic art are rare, and interregional approaches have sought to establish thematic parallels rather than a true denition of possible links at dierent temporal and geographical scales.
This session aims to highlight the informative potential of graphic manifestations in the characterization of cultural units and links established at the European level during the Mesolithic period. The aim is to share approaches according to dierent focal points. The microanalysis of the technical gesture, with the characterization of the nature of the strokes and their temporal sequence of execution in complex compositions, is especially relevant in order to identify common practices and know-how at a site, or even in a larger territory. The study and systematization of the themes depicted can be useful to identify recurring patterns at dierent scales, and therefore possible graphical convergences. The purpose of sharing these distinct approaches is to encourage collective discussion. It will allow, first, to better understand the "cha^ne operatoire" of Mesolithic graphic manifestations, and second, to reach an overview of these manifestations in order to identify possible regional and supraregional
characteristics.
Such an approach requires a sophisticated data acquisition and restitution protocol. In this session, communications about dierent protocols for microanalysis, experimental reproduction of decorated objects, and the use of new digitization and three-dimensional reproduction technologies are particularly welcome.


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