The Rouffignac Flutings – Philippe de Felice
Central France has a wealth of prehistoric art, including the famous caves of Lascaux and Chauvet. One of the more mysterious examples of Ice Age art is the long serpentine tracings made on the ceilings of caves at Rouffignac, in the Dordogne area. Seemingly without function or meaning, these “flutings”- tracings made with the points of fingers- have puzzled archaeologists for many years. Recent research indicates that they may be evidence of rituals performed by hunter-gatherers who inhabited Europe in the Upper Palaeolithic (50,000 and 12,000 BCE). Philippe de Felice analyses the evidence and offers a startling suggestion as to the purpose of the Rouffignac flutings.