5.2.5 Conclusions: tacit knowledge and contexts of representation

Tacit knowledge is required for the engagement with all domains in the world. The reading and use of this article required different forms of tacit knowledge; the most pertinent in the context of this work is the engagement with the virtual models and digital images. Hopefully, most readers will have been 'equipped' with adequate knowledge that enabled their use of the models. The initial production and subsequent engagement with the rock art at Abri Faravel also demanded forms of tacit knowledge, all contingent upon historical and spatial contexts. Their original production, either during the Neolithic or Iron Age, was not the end of the story, as this art would have been (re)viewed intermittently over the millennia subsequent to their production.

These paintings have survived for over two millennia, possibly four. Their fortuitous position, on the ceiling of an overhang, has afforded them natural protection – even during the winter, the snow seems to form as a wall in front of the rock shelter, leaving the area under the overhang open and free from direct exposure to the elements. It is perhaps stating the obvious to say that there can be no single interpretation of this art, but this does not mean that we cannot present sensible interpretations that are situated within defined chronological and landscape contexts – contexts that can give meaning to this rare example of high-altitude prehistoric art.