Document Type



Environmental Analysis (Pitzer)

Publication Date



Pleistocene finger flutings, Environment, Relationship with the environment, Meaning


This paper is concerned with the organic derivation and primary meaning of Pleistocene finger flutings; I propose that in order to gain insight into the significance of the flutings, we must attempt an understanding of the physical and mental contexts in which they emerged. I suggest that finger flutings provided a cultural record in the Pleistocene which documented thought and action, and made it ready for reflection. Through the process of finger fluting, the human 'self' was objected and reality was modified in the experience of self-consciuosness. I argue that finger flutings, like language, were employed to discover and convey new information about the environment and the human position within it. I suggest that the flutings helped to solve the puzzle of human separation and concurrent integration with the non-human environment. The digital flutings encapsulate a devleoping theory of reality; they signal an expanding awareness of human existence in relation to nature, and they constitute evidence of a paradigmatic shift in the Pleistocene concept of reality. The finger markings are artifacts of neither pure art nor pure science, but ar artifacts of contemplation in the quest for unity.

The finger markings provided a nexus between what is concrete (the external world) and what is abstract (the Human condition). As primal markings they were more exploratory than communicatory, and served as precursors to other expressions of new, developing thoughts. Ultimately, I conclude, finger markings are artifacts of the human effort at creating meaning. Their fundamental meaning lies in their expressing affective ties between humans and the existential environment.

Rights Information

© 1994 Paul Faulstich