Skip to comments.Down to the last detail: How our ancestors with autistic traits led a revolution in Ice Age art
Posted on 06/03/2018 10:16:09 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art, according to researchers at the University of York. Around 30,000 years ago realistic art suddenly flourished in Europe. Extremely accurate depictions of bears, bison, horses and lions decorate the walls of Ice Age archaeological sites such as Chauvet Cave in southern France. Why our ice age ancestors created exceptionally realistic art rather than the very simple or stylised art of earlier modern humans has long perplexed researchers. Many have argued that psychotropic drugs were behind the detailed illustrations. The popular idea that drugs might make people better at art led to a number of ethically-dubious studies in the 60s where participants were given art materials and LSD. The authors of the new study discount that theory, arguing instead that individuals with "detail focus", a trait linked to autism, kicked off an artistic movement that led to the proliferation of realistic cave drawings across Europe. Lead author of the paper, Dr Penny Spikins from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, said: "Detail focus is what determines whether you can draw realistically; you need it in order to be a talented realistic artist. This trait is found very commonly in people with autism and rarely occurs in people without it. "We looked at the evidence from studies attempting to identify a link between artistic talent and drug use, and found that drugs can only serve to disinhibit individuals with a pre-existing ability. The idea that people with a high degree of detail focus, many of which may have had autism, set a trend for extreme realism in ice age art is a more convincing explanation."
(Excerpt) Read more at uknews70.wordpress.com ...
This all more or less rang a bell — turns out that, of course, Neandertal genes have been blamed for autism in moderns, but have also been cited as a supposed reason that moderns had a different descent (IOW, that the Neandertal genes indisputably found in living populations got there some other way).
Humans couldn’t have advanced without some millennial post-modern nonsense added to ancient thought even ‘fore it was thunk up.
30,000 years ago, or up to 40,000 years ago. That’s a long-long way back for humans. And yet the art in some of these cave paintings is surprisingly sophisticated.
It’s really quite remarkable, when you think about it. The concept of representing something from the real world that is three-dimensions with a drawing on a two-dimensional surface. The very idea of outlining a creature to represent its boundaries is pretty abstract. When did that idea of abstract representation of real objects first occur? How did the idea spread?
Besides cave art, being patiently detail oriented is probably necessary to making arrows and other necessary tools.
A tribe which had good makers of tools and weapons had a big advantage.
Down to the last detail: How our ancestors with autistic traits led to the formation of the democrat party
[[How did the idea spread?]]
Via the NYT’s
These take a minute. Hastily drawn stick figures indicate not a lot of time for such frivolity as detail. Someone with a full belly noticed the common stick figures didn’t really look like the depicted animal. He noticed depth and perspective. He spent some time expressing his detailed observations. That’s all they are. The artist had time for more than hunting and gathering. Maybe he was too noisy in the woods and would scare the game, so they left him in the cave. Just observations here, but you could go a long way before blaming autism.
I wholeheartedly agree. Also, the length of time those stone-knapping techniques persisted says something about ttheir social cohesion and organization.
And they did it in the dark, in "a world lit only by fire".
A related question is, did the idea spread from a single location?
In her Plato Prehistorian: 10,000 to 5000 B.C. Myth, Religion, Archaeology, Mary Settegast reproduces a table which shows four runic character sets; a is Upper Paleolithic (found among the cave paintings), b is Indus Valley script, c is Greek (western branch), and d is the Scandinavian runic alphabet.
Who's placing "blame" on autism? I didn't see anything in the article where "blame" was indicated.
Life back then was a trip everyday without anything
An you imagine life then ?
Or even just one, from whom the others could learn. Ive definitely noticed that the most talented toolmakers Ivecome across have what could be called autistic traits.
When your entire known universe is confined to your tribe, one individual, of unique ability, is a miraculous asset.
I failed to believe that “attention to detail” is strictly under the purview of autism.
Monomaniacal focus has a definite place in society and is very useful, just not in social situations, not at all. In times past such individuals were merely eccentric and were by and large accepted as such, but now it’s been pathologized and drugged. Can’t have any variance from the perceived “norm,” which is hilarious coming from people who reject “normative” anything.
supposedly Neanderthal genes play a major part in modern humans’ immune systems:
Its the spark of genius, that little bit of Himself that resides in each of us.
Depends on what your definition of "autism" is.
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