Nada Hosking Humanities and Social Science
The Mind in the Vulva: Androcentric Interpretations of Prehistoric Imagery
Research related to prehistoric image-making is constructed around a patriarchal scientific tradition of discourse. In 2007, archaeologists once more imposed vulva symbolism on an abstract engraving on a rock at Abri Castanet, perpetuating the assumption that Upper Palaeolithic societies perceived the world through a similar cultural screen to our own. Using the so-called vulva engravings as an example, my project asks: How can contemporary patriarchal values that have been dominating the interpretation of pre-historic imagery be re-evaluated? My project culminates in a senior honors thesis that aims at re-examining the dominant narrative imposed on Upper Palaeolithic engravings, and sparking alternative interpretations that would take our archaeological mind out of the vulva.