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Palaeo Vision: Do you see the world through Ice Age eyes?

A research project of the Department of Archaeology

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As part of the DFG-AHRC joint research initiative, a team of archaeologists and psychologists from Durham have joined researchers from MONREPOS (Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution, RGZM, Germany).

The interdisciplinary project combines methods from archaeology with those from the psychology of vision and action (haptics) to explore how people functioned in their living spaces in the past. We question how the mechanics of routine actions interacted with the creation and function of Palaeolithic art.Our aim is to understand the visual and haptic roles that engraved “art” plaquettes played in household environments during the Upper Palaeolithic.

In particular, the focus is on the 16,000 year old Upper Palaeolithic (Late Magdalenian) campsites of Gönnersdorf and Andernach-Martinsberg, located in the Central Rhineland, Germany.


Funders and Partners

The Palaeo Vision project is funded through the DFG-AHRC collaboration fund that brings together German & UK researchers (AHRC DFG Research Grant (AH/V002899/1). Project partners include the departments of Archaeology and Psychology at Durham University, MONREPOS (Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution, Germany), the RGZM (Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology) and the Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz, Germany).


Website Link

Please visit our dedicated project website, with monthly changing online visual experiments for you to take part in and contribute to our project.


Postdoctoral Research Associates

  • Lisa-Elen Meyering (Department of Archaeology, Durham University)
  • Jérôme Robitaille (MONREPOS, RGZM, Germany)


Project Contacts

  • Paul Pettitt (Principle Investigator, Department of Archaeology, Durham University)
  • Robert Kentridge (Co-Investigator, Department of Psychology, Durham University)
  • Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser (Principle Investigator, MONREPOS, RGZM, Germany)
  • Olaf Jöris (Co-Investigator, MONREPOS, RGZM, Germany)

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