The later prehistoric rock-engravings of Mont Bégo, in the Maritime Alps on the French–Italian border, provide a rare possibility of grasping the meaning of a group in prehistoric art. Two elements in their limited repertoire of forms are daggers and halberds, which also occur as physical objects or as images in the contemporary sites of adjacent north Italy; their contexts show they are, in that area, associated with the status of adult males in society. That same interpretation is applied to the Mont Bégo figures, and this is found congruent with other motifs — especially ploughs and cattle — in the repertoire. It may explain also the other common motif, a geometrical form interpreted as a map of a prehistoric farmstead, by associating it with plough agriculture and land division. The insights developed from the study for what ‘meaning’ amounts to in the study of prehistory are set down.