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Cave Paintings

 
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 11:06 am
Just a minute, kids - Ancient Cave Art Full of Teenage Graffiti
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 04:55 pm
[quote="This aint anywhere near my area but I try to keep up with what other colleagues are doing .[/quote]

This may not be near your area, but it's close enough for me. Thanks for all the valuable info, farmerman. I appreciate it.

BTW, ul's second link is to cave paintings that are under water.

Timber, Thanks for the link. I'm sure that the theories presented will be hotly debated. I can believe that at least some of what we see is graffiti, just because it seems so much to be human nature. I suspect that the wall paintings, etchings, etc., are from a combination of people (artists, shamans, kids) and that they were done for a combination of reasons (rituals, religions, scribbling for fun).

Here's something from Namibia:



http://www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/ontheline/explore/journey/algeria/images/alghist.jpg
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 05:06 pm
Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands Nat park (Utah)
http://www.projectwet.org/daw/Photo%20Album/Rocky%20to%20Moab/68%20Newspaper%20Rock.JPGhttp://
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 06:11 pm
The Big Bird's link shows the point i was trying to make. Although certainly many paintings had a ritualistic significance, there were undoubtedly many scribblings, scratchings and paintings which were the product of the urge people have to express themselves. FM's remarks about the durable nature of the cave paintings also indirectly points to something else i've speculated about--that there could have been many, many more paintings and petroglyphs which simply did not survive, having been done "out of doors," or, as FM's remarks suggest, with less durable "paints."

He also remarks about the Solutrean tool culture. I did a thread on this a while back, and won't be bothered to hunt for it--but the similarity of the Clovis flint-knapping techniques (named for flint tools found first near Clovis, New Mexico) and Solutrean techniques--both of which are otherwise unique--has suggested to many contemporary scholars that some members of the Solutrean culture may have managed to cross the Atlantic to North America. In fact, the Solutreans did not actually do flint knapping, but useda pressure flake technique which makes it unmistakable.

An article on the Solutrean-Clovis connection from the Center for the Study of the First Americans.

Summary of a BBC program on the suspected Solutrean-Clovis connection. An interesting quote from one of the interviewed scientists is: "The best way to get beaten up, professionally, is to claim you have a pre-Clovis site." But scientists, notably in Pennsylvania, have claimed to have found "pre-Clovis" sites, which has been pooh-poohed by traditional researchers, and is the basis of speculation that members of the Solutrean culture may have migrated to North America.

Transcript of a NOVA program on PBS with much the same burden as the BBC piece, and which interviews many of the same people.

Fascinatin' stuff--as a student of history, rather than science, i am more inclined to attempt to put the evidence into context, rather than to maintain devotion to an established theoretical point of view. If the evidence is reliable that there were "Clovis" points found in "pre-Clovis" strata, than the Clovis theory either needs to be radically modified, or discarded and a new theory proposed which takes into account the evidence.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 07:40 pm
If he'd gotten the formatting right, dys woulda wrote:
Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands Nat park (Utah)
http://www.projectwet.org/daw/Photo%20Album/Rocky%20to%20Moab/68%20Newspaper%20Rock.JPG
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 07:51 pm
Dys, ya gotta end with the jpeg ---
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 07:52 pm
Dys, ya gotta end with the jpeg ---



damnit, I can't post this.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 07:53 pm
Nice, now we have both versions...
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 08:44 pm
yEH, dig that muther up set. Id like to see some words about the speculation on the"Siberia first" maybe not the path of least resistance.

The fluted and winged Salutrean and "paleo" points are so ubiquitous in the Americas that some are now pushing the dates of first colonization back to the 30000 BP time. I think that some diving into the continental slope area may reveal as many paleo camps as did the work on the Black Sea shorelines show that there were many folks that lived out on the old strand line before the Med blew a hole in the Bosperus.

There have been some anomalouslyalpha track rad dates found on paleo points from Meadowcroft , Shoop, Sandia , Channel Islands and the Pine Hill area of Virginia that gave many workers a hunch that such bunches of largely agreeing dates from such widely distant sites could only mean that
1Alpha tracking aint worth **** or, more likely

2These 25000 +dates are real.

Im sitting with my popcorn waiting for some new news.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 08:47 pm
wide-eyed at set and farmer, love you both, but never mind the gush.

Primarily, thanks...
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 08:48 pm
Timber--I see a stegosaur on the bottom center of the petroglyph. Somebody call gunga-dim.

Also, theres an obvious rendering of an alien vessel on the right.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Feb, 2007 08:48 pm
wide-eyed at set and farmer, love you both, but never mind the gush.

Primarily, thanks...






DON'T TELL ME YOU CAN'T OPEN THE PAGE!!!!
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 12:14 am
Farmerman and Set, I'm lost. Not that I was ever firmly grounded to begin with. I'm reading. Maybe some of it will sink in. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Thanks for adding to the thread.

BTW, I don't see no stinkin' stegasaur.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 04:29 am
Roberta wrote:
Farmerman and Set, I'm lost. Not that I was ever firmly grounded to begin with. I'm reading. Maybe some of it will sink in. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Thanks for adding to the thread.

BTW, I don't see no stinkin' stegasaur.


But you do see the alien UFO, right?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 04:29 am
Roberta wrote:
Farmerman and Set, I'm lost. Not that I was ever firmly grounded to begin with. I'm reading. Maybe some of it will sink in. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Thanks for adding to the thread.

BTW, I don't see no stinkin' stegasaur.


But you do see the alien UFO, right?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 12:43 pm
FM, i have long known about the Solutreans, and knew about the Clovis tool making technique, and didn't make a connection, myself. It is entirely possible that what is new to me is not new to you. I also read, when i was in university, about people who found pressure flake tools with dates not only before Clovis, but before the Siberian land bridge (remember that in the late 1960s, many people did not then accept dates older than 10,000 years BP)--and the majority opinion of academics was that the data must be flawed, that the dating couldn't be correct.

So, you have a few problems going on with these theories. Scientists are no different than other academics in that once they have lined up their pet theory, and built a career on it, they are going to fight to the last ditch to deny any evidence which would contradict their theories. Historians and anthros are just the same. I am not an historian, and have never claimed to be--but that serves as an advantage, because it means i'm not wedded to a theory or set of theories. But it can have disadvantages, as well. I never (in the 1960s and -70s) made a mental connection between Solutrean and Clovis tool-making technique, because one of my initial reactions to pre-historical anthropological theoretical technique was to have reservations about the notion that ideas only get invented once, and thereafter spread by cultural diffusion. So knowing that Solutrean spear pionts and Clovis spear points were similar to one another, and dissimilar to all other contemporary spear points didn't automatically suggest a connection to me.

Additionally, at the time i was doing intensive reading, people in eastern Europe, primarily in Bulgaria, were suggesting that copper and bronze were first smelted there, and not in the middle east. This was rejected by traditional western scholars, because they are lazy (it meant redefining all the time lines, and investigating for cultural diffusion in a direction opposite to what had always been assumed), and because it threatened their pet theories. It also raised again the specter of dealing with the charge that anthropology and history had been warped by "Judeo-Christian-centrism," which assumed for religious and cultural reasons that the middle east was "the cradle of civilization." So the easiest dodge was to claim that it was just Soviet bloc conceit, and the desire to claim for their region a precedence, which was not supported by the evidence.

After i had left university, i read that the claims of the earliest copper and bronze smelting operations were verified by reliable dating methods in sites in Bulgaria. My response was that metal smelting might either had spread from there to the middle east, or that it arose simultaneously in both places.

So, back to pressure-flake tool-making. The whole debate was blown wide open by dating which far, far pre-dates the land bridge theory of colonization. This puts it all up for grabs. I had also read, 30 years ago and more, that the remains of a Cro-Magnon man had been found in the La Brea tar pits. Now, i wasn't studying that, my personal focus has always been on the social and political history of early modern and modern Europe and North America--so i wasn't in a position to check that out, and had little interest in pursuing the matter. I don't know if the source was reliable. (I was a little suspicious as those remains were found right next to the automated alien anal-probe device and the velociraptor skeleton.) But i did occasionally keep track of the Clovis points/Solutrean discussion. What i do know is hat the proponents of the claim of Solutrean settlement in North America before the land bridge allege is that the Europeans would have been able to come to North America by following the edge of the ice cap from the neighborhood of the British Island to the neighborhood of New England, in the era just at the beginning of the 35,000 years BP interstitial.

I rather suspect you know more about this than i do. But as for the UFO on the petroglyphs, i am sure that it is as true tens of thousands of years ago as it is now--there are any number of people who see, or think they see, objects, or what they think are objects, which fly, or which they think are flying, which they are then and subsequently unable to identify. I have no position on stegosaurs as domestic animals.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 02:22 pm
Reading along and trying to understand. I do know that the scientific community is very reluctant to let go of theories.

What exactly does an alien vessel look like? I've never seen one (except in the movies), so I have nothing to compare it to. I do know that stegosaurs are not the best pets. It's murder to housebreak those guys. And they eat you out of house and home.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 03:08 pm
Jeezus, I was kidding about the UFO and the stegosaur. I just wanted Timber to PM gunga and let him know that we were talking about one of his favorite subjects
Set, heres a small section from the MAMMOTH' STRUMPET :wink: . By Chris Hardaker. It talks about the iconoclastic views of the "Salutrean/Clovis connection

Quote:
These characteristics of bifaces are one of the reasons Stanford and Bradley propose a Solutrean source for Clovis origins. The use of atlatl throwers and outre passé (overshot) bifacial thinning flakes are another reason. Atlatls, after all, are not unique to Europe but appear to have been used in Australia early on. Bruce Bradley puts special emphasis on the significance of the outre passé flake, seen in Clovis and Solutrean flintknapping. The outre passé flake, when it occurs during bifacial reduction, runs all the way across the surface and removes a section of the other edge of the biface. This "dent" along the edge destroys symmetry and makes extra work for the knapper, who has to resharpen the edge at the cost of the original width of the biface. The outre passé flake may have started out as a mistake that ultimately led to a deliberate knapping technique. These and other features that may link the Solutrean to the Clovis are described in Stanford's presentation of the North Atlantic Hypothesis at the 1999 Clovis and Beyond Conference (Mammoth Trumpet 15-2). Still, I argue that it is the quality of thinning that is central to the diffusion argument: wider, flatter, thinner.

The National Geographic article illustrates "thinness" with six points and their cross sections. The Dyuktai (Siberia) and Mesa (Alaska) points are contemporaries of Clovis points but much thicker. The Clovis specimen is paired with a Cactus Hill (Virginia) point (about 15,000 RCYBP) and the Solutrean laurel leaf (about 20,000 RCYBP). To some, this thinner quality may not seem like such a big thing. To a flintknapper, the two groups are light-years apart.

The comparison of thick paleo points with thin ones is a strong argument for a Solutrean landfall along the Eastern seaboard. The thick points have a width: thickness ratio that varies from roughly 5:1 to 3:1. The thin points, on the other hand, have a width:thickness ratio roughly 8:1 or greater. To produce such thin points takes advanced knowledge of fracture mechanics and the dexterity to apply this awareness--knowing the correct kind of platform to use and where to position it along the lineal edge, knowing precisely how hard to strike it and at what angle. Width:thickness ratios cannot be whimsically manipulated in the same way as length:width ratios. The thinner the point, the more liable it is to break during production and therefore the greater the skill required of the craftsman. Shapes and styles of very thin bifaces are completely secondary characteristics.



I took a workshop (about 6 hours ) on flintknapping a bunch of years ago. AFter slicing meself up real good, I learned that making a good bifacial pressure flaked tip was something that required effort and skill. (I gave it the former, but didnt acquire the latter).
More and more people are coming around to the heresy of European migrants that may have stepped on land even earlier than the type O Amerinds. The only problem --Where did they go?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Feb, 2007 03:43 pm
I certainly don't reject (or automatically accept) a point of view because it is iconoclastic. Generally, views are labeled iconoclastic for the good and sufficient reason that they contradict vociferously defended professionally maintained views of people with academic careers who have a stake in the suppression of boat-rocking.

One aspect of the making of delicate flint tools which many people may miss is the implication it has for social organization. The successful flint-knapper who uses the painstaking and delicate pressure flake method will need to carefully choose flint nodes from a known source, and carefully produce the tools. An advantage of the method is that it will produce many more tools from a flint node than the cruder methods. However, the Solutreans made needles and fish hooks, apparently before they appear elsewhere.

The specialized, highly-skilled tool-making, and the wide variety of innovative tools made and used by the Solutreans makes a strong inferential suggestion that there was a dedicated division of labor. So does the production of the pigments and painting which are the original topic of this thread. For more than a century, western historians and archaeologists have confidently painted a picture of the middle east as the cradle of civlization, with its temple societies, and a concomitant assertion that the priests of the temples organized the first instances of the division of labor.

But if you have dedicated flint-knappers, who produce tools for dedicated garment makers (the needles) and dedicated fishers (the fish hooks), or burins (which can be used by other tool makers, and garment makers, and those who produce decorative materials) and you have dedicated artists--then you already have division of labor in a cooperative society, thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of years before the temple societies. Although i have always understood the value of the temple societies for organizing human labor on theretofore unknown scales of population, i have long thought that it wasn't necessarily an improvement for the lifestyle of anyone, other than the priests and acolytes. In fact, the evidence is that the value of the annual Nile floods was understood and exploited long before the temple society arose; in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the irrigation and flood regulation system gradually destroyed the fields of the ancient Sumerian cities because it concentrated salts in the soil. Where the ancient Sumerian cities once flourished, the "marsh Arabs" have for centuries lived, until Saddam Hussein decided to destroy them after the failed 1991 uprising. Babylon, an Akkadian city, rose to importance as much because of the exhaustion of the agricultural resources of the lower river valley as because there was anything superior about the Akkadians culture, which in fact seems to have borrowed nearly every significant idea of the Sumerians.

If you look at the Solutreans as a complex society with a well-evolved system of division of labor to produce beautiful and highly functional artifacts, as well as works of art, it becomes compelling (in my never humble opinion) evidence that the temple societies were only innovative in the arena of the scale of social organization--the benefit of which accrues first to the priests, and then to the war leaders, the first kings. Humanity had already invented the systems which depended upon and recognized the value of individual skills. The most primitive hunter-gatherer has to be a jack of all trades, and likely a master of few or none. A society sophisticated enough to produce beautiful flint artifacts, beautifully decorated garments made of extremely sophisticated leather, and beautiful paintings is at least as "evolved" as the ant-hill of temple scribes pushing reeds into wet clay to record that year's harvest.
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Vivien
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Feb, 2007 04:00 am
I've visited 3 of the caves in the Dordogne and they are magical.


Lascaux II is such a good reproduction (they only allow a limited number of scientific visits to the original because of the damage being done to the painting) that you forget it is a repro. The paintings are wonderful, alive, sophisticated and curious. They were done over a long period of time and artists would work overlapping previous works often.

The animals are incredibly well observed and the legs moved correctly - unlike European paintings for centuries AD - they are painted with legs like rocking horses there.

Rouffignac uses just charcoal and no colours but is the original and is wonderful - it has mammoths. It's several miles through vast tunnels to reach the paintings, you pass hollowed out pits with scratch marks on the walls, where cave bears hibernated and scratched the walls like cats when they woke - over centuries they hollowed out dips in the rock, turning like dogs and wearing it away. We passed deeeeeeep sink holes. The caves with the paintings were originally only very shallow and the painters would have lain on their backs to paint, they've been hollowed out now so that the public can see the work, Visits are strictly limited to 2 per day to preserve the works from the damage that Lascaux suffered.


The Font de Gaumme is much smaller and very narrow. You are nose to nose with the paintings and they are absolutely superb. One bison is painted so that the swell of the rock makes his flank and a stalactite/mite formation creates a leg, separated from the rock behind and creating a relief sculpture - it was just amazing. Again visits are limited to 2 a day.

I have no doubt at all personally, that they were artists and that not everything had a religious significance. I'm sure there was a lot more on fragile supports - maybe hide hangings etc that was lost long since.

I wonder how many more there are as yet undiscovered? the area is absolutely riddled with caves - and how many were destroyed by changes in underground streams Sad

The ones that are preserved have been protected by a thin build up of the same stuff as creates the stalacmites.

It was fascinating to see all the others from all over the world Smile

They say Cro Magnon man, who created them, died out but I seriously think he interbred with our ancestors - one look at the French farmers in the area and you'd believe me!
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