week 3 Cave Art

Given the skills of the artists and the time frame the artists painted the captions of cave art…the first thing that comes to mind is “Cognitive Right Brain, Left Brain Thinking.”  “The brain is made up of two sides, or hemispheres. Each hemisphere is responsible for different body functions and skills. The left side of the brain contains the person’s language center and the right side of the brain controls cognitive functioning, thinking skills. Visual thinking, also called visual spatial learning or thinking with pictures. Spatial temporal reasoning is the brains ability to visualize special patterns and mentally manipulate them over a time-order sequence of spatial transformation, the ability to manipulate three-dimensional figures to, two- dimensional figures.”(Source/Wikipedia Encyclopedia)

Right brain thinking and the sophistication of the cognitive mental processes to produce spatial reasoning with pictures, is contrary to the images of a non-thinking caveman. Along with hand-eye coordination and the ability to transfer visual images from the brain to a curved surface, coming  from this time period is contrary to the stereotype images of cavemen. The artists who painted these images on the cave walls of Lascaux are by far way ahead of recorded historical documentation. Which reflects that man from this time period, could not possible reason beyond the need to survive. Or that man did not possess the ability to reason beyond hunting and gathering and the need to satisfy hunger. The artists who drew the images in Lascaux cave are raising the cognitive learning curve beyond just survival, for the time period and matching wits with cognitive brain function of the modern brain of today…so in 35 million years the right brain thinking continues today and works. The wiring for right brain thinking, spatial temporal reasoning it would appear has not changed.

The virtual tour of Lascaux Cave, France, was like stepping through a time portal and right into a stone library of a pictorial recorded account of inventory of the living species of animals as recorded and accounted for on the cave walls . I can now go to my grave happy…the Hall of the Unicorns…Wow…this mythical creature did exist?

Each hall has a certain number of figures drawn on the walls, some of the halls have more images than others, and the species change from hall to hall. This cave is not only a rock library, but also an inventory and layout which maps out and gives an account of the animals painted in a location of where they may have existed and might be found for the time.

If this is a rock library, then the theory art for the sake of art can be dismissed. These images were painted by firelight and oh! did I forget to mention the hues, did anyone catch the number of hues used and painted with? And the handmade paint and some type of tool, like a paint brush. Handmade paint from this time and what it takes to make it is very impressive. When you think of what you must consider to make paint and then transport the paint to the cave to then use a tool like a paint brush, some 35 million years ago. This is sophisticated behavior not often connected with the caveman/paleolithic era.

The Language theory can be dismissed, the images selected represents the image selected, and it’s great to see after all these thousands of years that bulls, horses and cows have maintain  a consistent appearance in the evolution of species. These images are not hieroglyphics symbols representing written language, it’s too early in man’s history, and the Phoenician’s aren’t on the scene yet.  Hunting Magic theory can be dismissed; the Shamanistic vision site can be dismissed, along with the theory Site used for rituals of increase…No.

The theory marked gathering location, define as “representing places where people get together to do a variety of different things and activities not associated with religion or ritual for purposes of people coming together”( lecture ANP 264/week 3 Dr. Norder)…works. What if you were going out on a hunt and you needed to know the grazing grounds for a particular animal, all the images were of animal that move in herds, but you don’t remember where their located…so you go to the cave library, which reads like a map of location and you look up on the cave walls where the animals grazing grounds are or were, and you locate the species by reading the cave pictorial images and the placement of these image throughout the cave library…what if?