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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

"If there were earlier periods when they made cruder art, why haven't we got them?"

Did Ice Age have its own Rodins?
For years, scholars regarded the appearance of figurative art as the initiation of an evolutionary process — that art became progressively more sophisticated as humans experimented with styles and techniques and passed this knowledge to the next generation.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that modern humans, virtually from the moment they appeared in Ice Age Europe, were able to produce startlingly sophisticated art. Artistic ability thus did not "evolve," many scholars said, but has instead existed in modern humans (the talented ones, anyway) throughout their existence.

Writing in the journal Nature, anthropologist Nicholas Conard, of Germany's University of Tuebingen, added to this view, reporting the discovery in a cave in the Jura Mountains of three small, carefully made figurines carved from mammoth ivory between 30,000 and 33,000 years ago.

The artifacts at Hohle Fels Cave — of a water bird, a horse's head, and a half-human, half-lion figure — made up the fourth such cache of ancient objects found in Germany. All are more than 30,000 years old, and, taken together with cave paintings of a similar age in France's Grotte Chauvet, constitute the oldest known artworks in the history of modern humans...

"It confirms the sophistication of the art of that early period," said archaeologist David Lewis-Williams of South Africa's Rock Art Research Institute and author of "The Mind in the Cave," a discussion of the origins of art. "If there were earlier periods when they made cruder art, why haven't we got them?"

Good question...

11:29:00 pm