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Earliest wall art is found in France
Expatica ^ | May 14, 2012

Posted on 05/15/2012 12:04:21 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

A massive block of limestone in France contains what scientists believe are the earliest known engravings of wall art dating back some 37,000 years, according to a study published Monday.

The 1.5 metric ton ceiling piece was first discovered in 2007 at Abri Castanet, a well known archeological site in southwestern France which holds some of the earliest forms of artwork, beads and pierced shells.

According to New York University anthropology professor Randall White, lead author of the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the art was likely meant to adorn the interior of a shelter for reindeer hunters.

"They decorated the places where they were living, where they were doing all their daily activities," White told AFP.

"There is a whole question about how and why, and why here in this place at this particular time you begin to see people spending so much time and energy and imagination on the graphics."

The images range from paintings of horses to "vulvar imagery" that appears to represent female sex organs, carved into the low ceiling that rose between 1.5 to two meters (yards) from the floor, within reach of the hunters.

The work is less sophisticated than the elaborate paintings of animals found in France's Grotte Chauvet, which was more remote and difficult to access, believed to be between 30,000 and 36,000 years old.

In contrast, the engravings and paintings at Castanet, which carbon dating showed were about 37,000 years old, are rougher and more primitive in style, and were likely done by everyday people.

"This art appears to be slightly older than the famous paintings from the Grotte Chauvet in southeastern France," said White, referring to the cave paintings discovered in 1994.

"But unlike the Chauvet paintings and engravings, which are deep underground and away from living areas, the engravings and paintings at Castanet are directly associated with everyday life, given their proximity to tools, fireplaces, bone and antler tool production, and ornament workshops."

However, even though the artwork is vastly different, archeologists believe the artists came from the same Aurignacian culture which comprised the first modern humans in Europe, replacing the Neanderthals. They lived from 40,000 years ago until about 28,000 years ago.

"Early Aurignacian humans functioned, more or less, like humans today," said White.

"They had relatively complex social identities communicated through personal ornamentation, and they practiced sculpture and graphic arts."

Co-authors on the paper came from leading archeology labs and universities in France and Britain.

In a separate study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, French scientists described the paintings at Chauvet as "the oldest and most elaborate ever discovered."

Those finding were based on an analysis -- called geomorphological and chlorine-36 dating -- of the rock slide surfaces around what is believed to be the cave's only entrance.

TOPICS: Arts/Photography; History; Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: anthropology; archeology; art; cavemen; france; godsgravesglyphs

1 posted on 05/15/2012 12:04:37 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: SunkenCiv

For your GGG ping list.

2 posted on 05/15/2012 12:09:10 AM PDT by HoneysuckleTN (Where the woodbine twineth... || FUBO! OMG! ABO!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why do people get so excited about wall art. It's not like they had a Staples where they can easily get paper.

Art is inborn....aome have it...some don't. Michaelangelo did...

3 posted on 05/15/2012 12:19:49 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Carbon dated to 37,000 years ago? How does one carbon date a rock carving?

4 posted on 05/15/2012 12:56:44 AM PDT by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: Explorer89

Nevermind, some were painted, I guess they got some paint scrapings to date......

5 posted on 05/15/2012 12:58:19 AM PDT by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: Explorer89

My question exactly. And how does one extend from the date of the rock slide opening to the date of the drawing?

6 posted on 05/15/2012 2:13:30 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: Sacajaweau

People get excited because the wall art is 10 times older than the pyramids and the pigments are a mix of organic and mineral material applied in an extremely thin and fragile layer. Without regular human intervention, Michaelangelo’s work would have disappeared long ago.

7 posted on 05/15/2012 3:21:59 AM PDT by KingLudd
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To: Explorer89

“How does one carbon date a rock carving?”

It would appear that they “carbon dated” it using “chlorine-36 dating”.


8 posted on 05/15/2012 3:27:05 AM PDT by Born to Conserve (iT)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That gives me an idea for a music video-


I recall when I was small
How I spent my days alone
The busy world was not for me
So I went and found my own
I would climb the garden wall
With a candle in my hand
I’d hide inside a hall of rock and sand

On the stone an ancient hand
In a faded yellow-green
Made alive a worldly wonder
Often told but never seen
Now and ever bound to labor
On the sea and in the sky
Every man and beast appeared
A friend as real as I


Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall
When there wasn’t even any Hollywood
They heard the call
And they wrote it on the wall
For you and me we understood

Can it be this sad design
Could be the very same
A wooly man without a face
And a beast without a name
Nothin’ here but history
Can you see what has been done
Memory rush over me
Now I step into the sun


9 posted on 05/15/2012 3:55:10 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth again.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
And here it is...

10 posted on 05/15/2012 4:33:19 AM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
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To: HoneysuckleTN; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks HoneysuckleTN. This may duplicate a fairly recent topic, but I'm not motivated enough to look. :') So, ping!

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

11 posted on 05/15/2012 10:01:25 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time --
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey, baby. Let’s go back to my place so I can show you my . . . wall art.

12 posted on 05/15/2012 11:47:31 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve

in local libraries
Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]

13 posted on 05/19/2012 7:30:25 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time --
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