ROCKPORT — On Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6:30 p.m., the Rockport Public Library, 1 Limerock St., hosts author Scott Dickerson for a presentation of his new novel, “Telling Stone.” Richly imagined, founded on archaeological discoveries and Ice Age ecology, “Telling Stone” is about the origins of art and the lives of these earliest artists. Dickerson’s presentation will take place in person in the library’s lower-level Rockport Room.

Who were these Paleolithic hunter-gatherers? How did they live? What did they believe? Why did they create art on cave walls 23,500 years ago? Dickerson’s novel explores these questions.

The story follows Okyo, a young man who “tells stone” by carving with flint tools and painting with powdered rock to honor animals that sustain or threaten the band, and to confront the power of darkness deep in their cave. As unconventional as his art, he is constrained by his band’s strict traditions. He leaves to wander remote terrain, painting and carving on stone walls where he shelters, but he never abandons his hope to live and create with his own band. His hope to find a hearthmate is conflicted by another tradition: If he finds her, he must live with her band. Will his art be embraced by them?

Dickerson is a conservation biologist; hunter and gatherer; artist; and designer and maker of fine furniture. He lives on a small farm in coastal Maine where he “herds muskmelons and celebrates sweet corn.” His first book, “To Save a River” (Aperture, 2002), tells the story of endan­gered Atlantic salmon in a Maine river. “Telling Stone” is his first novel.

“Telling Stone” is published by Maine Authors Publishing & Collaborative. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.