Carving creativity

Ancient paintings have long intrigued the public and researchers alike.

But early humans also carved images into rocks, an art form UNC anthropologist Silvia Tomášková first studied in 2010 in South Africa, opening up a new endeavor in her field research.

“The engravings, in comparison to the paintings, are very ordinary,” Tomášková said. “They lack color-and people are much more seduced by color than by something that’s carved. But there’s so much to be learned about them.”

Beyond the “why,” Tomášková hopes to discover how the images were made and what the learning process must have been like.

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Silvia Tomášková is a professor of anthropology and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Geographic Society.

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