SUNY Adirondack offers glimpse into cave art and its creators

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October 08, 2020

(QUEENSBURY, NEW YORK—Oct. 8, 2020)—SUNY Adirondack professor of anthropology and archaeology Valerie Haskins will present “First Artists: Cave and Rock Art of France, Spain and Beyond” at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, via Zoom as part of the College Lecture Series. (This date is a change from past announcements, due to unforeseen circumstances.)

The public is invited to the free event, which will last about an hour with time for questions.

“The creation of art is one of the things that we identify as what makes us ‘human’ and distinguishes us from primates,” Haskins said. 

Her talk will look at when humans began creating art and why. She will examine who created cave and rock art around the world, how it is determined when they were created and what they might mean. 

She will review cave/rock art examples from across the globe, including the famous caves of what is now France and Spain, created during the last Ice Age and discuss how these compare to those found in the Americas and elsewhere.

Haskins teaches several classes in archaeology and anthropology, Freshman Seminar and a variety of International Studies programs. She is a recipient of the 2005 President’s Award for Teaching at SUNY Adirondack and has also been awarded Advisor of the Year for her work with the Anthropology Club.

A Ph.D. candidate (all but dissertation completed) at Washington University in St. Louis, Haskins' background is anthropological archaeology and bioarchaeology, with a primary focus on the prehistory of native peoples of the Americas. She also has international archaeological field experience (including Greece, Jordan, Guatemala and Honduras), training and consultation in forensic anthropology/skeletal reconstruction (including the Smithsonian Institution and the FBI), and nearly 35 years of archaeological research including cultural resource management (at the consultant as well as state level), public education and museum work. She has led many recovery teams in the U.S. and abroad, directing field research as well as laboratory analyses. 

The College Lecture Series offers talks by SUNY Adirondack faculty and staff on a variety of topics and contemporary issues.

SUNY Adirondack encourages persons with disabilities to participate in official college programs, events, and activities. Reasonable accommodations can be requested by contacting SUNY Adirondack Accessibility Services at 518-743-2282 or

For more information or to request a link to join the presentation, contact series coordinator Dr. Jeevan Gurung at

The College Lecture series continues with the following programs:

  • 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11: “What Are Concepts For? (Part 1)” by Dr. Robert Faivre, professor of English, via Zoom;

  • 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9: “The Art of Unplugging: Promoting Literacy in the Natural World” by Krista Rivera, instructor of English, via Zoom