When Views of Prehistory Change…

Today we went to Les Eyzie to visit the Musée de Préhistoire. I loved this visit. My project is on gender roles in prehistory and how our modern ideas of gender affect the assumptions archeologists make. The museum was filled with glass cases holding an uncountable number of stone tools. On the side of the glass cases were videos of demonstrating the techniques used to create them. What initially looked like a rock was unveiled to be a carefully crafted specialised tool. I was unaware of the preconceived  notions that I had about different aspects of prehistory. The media often feeds us a very specific image of “the uncivilised caveman”, but seeing the intricate flint tools, and learning about some of the possible burial practices cast them, especially Neanderthals, in a new light.

Also our tour guide was amazing. Cécile gave us and in depth introduction to Prehistory while being weary of the possible inaccuracies of the assumptions made on such old remains. After our tour I got to ask her a few questions pertaining to my project topic. We discussed if there was any possibility that women made some of the cave art and tools. She told me about the relatively new studies being conducted about this very topic. With some research underway, I am excited to got to Le Mas d’Azil and possibly talk to some archeologists about my topic.

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