5 Major Periods of Human Culture bp=before present PALEOLITHIC: Old Stone AgeLower paleolithic 2.5 million-75,000 bpMiddle paleolithic 75,000-35,000 bpUpper paleolithic 35,000-12,000 bpMESOLITHIC: Middle Stone Age12,000-10,000 bpNEOLITHIC: New Stone AgeBegan 10,000 bpBRONZE AND IRON AGES: CivilizationBegan 5000 bp
7 Paleolithic Period Began 2 1/2 Million Years Ago Also called Old Stone Age cultureCharacterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone toolsHominids, Homo habilis, Homo erectus,Homo sapiens -- Neanderthal and Cro-magnonHunter-gatherers
8 Lower Paleolithic 2.5 Million-70,000 Bp Hominids and earliest human ancestorsGatherer/scavengersSimple pebble tools, pebble chopper tools, and hand axes associated with Homo habilis and Homo erectusRemains found in Europe, Africa and AsiaAt sites dating from the Lower Paleolithic Period (about 2,500,000 to 200,000 years ago), simple pebble tools have been found in association with the remains of what may have been the earliest human ancestors. A somewhat more sophisticated Lower Paleolithic tradition, known as the Chopper chopping-tool industry, is widely distributed in the Eastern Hemisphere. This tradition is thought to have been the work of the hominid species named Homo erectus. Although no such fossil tools have yet been found, it is believed that H. erectus probably made tools of wood and bone as well as stone.About 700,000 years ago, a new Lower Paleolithic tool, the hand ax, appeared. The earliest European hand axes are assigned to the Abbevillian industry, which developed in northern France in the valley of the Somme River; a later, more refined hand-ax tradition is seen in the Acheulian industry, evidence of which has been found in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Some of the earliest known hand axes were found at Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) in association with remains of H. erectus. Alongside the hand-ax tradition there developed a distinct and very different stone-tool industry, based on flakes of stone: special tools were made from worked (carefully shaped) flakes of flint. In Europe, the Clactonian industry is one example of a flake tradition. The early flake industries probably contributed to the development of the Middle Paleolithic flake tools of the Mousterian industry, which is associated with the remains of Neanderthal man.
9 Hominids: Australopithicenes Immediate ancestors of humans: intermediate between apes and humansClassified hominidiae because of biological similarity to humansLarge brainsBi-pedal: walked uprightBegan evolving 5 million years ago and were widespread 3 million years ago
10 chimpanzee Australopithecus africanus modern human Bipedal locomotion was probably an adaptation to living in open grassland environments. It is likely that bipedalism was selected for because it made it easier to see long distances. This would have been a useful advantage in scavenging for food and watching out for predators in open environments. An upright posture also helps to dissipate excess body heat and reduces the absorption of heat from the sun since less surface area has a direct exposure. It has been suggested by some researchers that bipedal animals usually can walk greater distances. This would be useful for scavenging throughout vast areas. Over many generations, australopithecine legs became longer than their arms. Their feet developed arches for more efficient support of their bodies. In addition, their hands became more efficient at manipulating objects.While late australopithecines were similar to humans below the neck, their heads were significantly different. Their adult brain size was about 1/3 that of ours. As a result, the widest part of australopithecine skulls was below the brain case. For modern humans, it is in the temple region. Australopithecine faces were large relative to the size of their brains. They had comparatively big teeth, large jaws, and powerful jaw muscles. The size and shape of these muscles is indicated by flaring zygomatic arches and the presence of a sagittal crest (in the robust species). From the side view, australopithecine faces were concave or dish-shaped and projecting forward at the bottom due to their large teeth and jaws. In contrast, our jaws are relatively small and our faces are nearly vertical.robust australopithecine modern human
11 The First Tool Makers ?Evidence of habitation in one place for an extended period of timePlant gatherers/meat scavengersMeat eaters -- used tools to smash bones and skin animalsChipped stone turned into crude hand-held choppers
12 Homo Habilis 2.4-1.6 Million Years Ago Early transitional human fossils first discovered in Olduvai Gorge in 1960sHomo habilis -- “handy or skilled humans” -- strong evidence of stone tool usageLarger brains, smaller mouths and teeth than AustralopithicenesThere may have been two species of early transitional humans living in East Africa--Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis . The rudolfensis fossils are earlier, dating million years ago, while the habilis remains are million years old. Rudolfensis apparently was a bit taller and relatively smaller brained. However, many paleoanthropologists consider the differences to be too slight to warrant a separate species designation. As a result, they classify them both as a single species--Homo habilis. That is the approach taken in this tutorial.Early transitional human fossils were first discovered in 1960 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania by Louis and Mary Leakey. They named them Homo habilis (Latin for "handy or skilled human") because of their apparent association with stone tools. Similar fossils were found at East Lake Turkana in Kenya by Richard Leakey's team of fieldworkers that began searching there in These latter specimens were named Homo rudolfensis after Lake Rudolf (i.e., the former name for Lake Turkana). So far, the evidence of early transitional humans has all been in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa. However, their ultimate geographic range may have been somewhat larger.The early transitional humans had significantly larger brains than the australopithecines. In fact, it is beginning with them that our ancestors finally had brains bigger than the great apes.
13 Olduwan ToolsCore Tools: multipurpose hammering, chopping, and digging implementsThe first unquestionable stone tool manufacturing and use was probably done by early transitional humans in East Africa million years ago. While the earliest sites with these tools are from the Gona River Region of Ethiopia, they were first discovered by Mary and Louis Leakey associated with Homo Habilis at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. Hence, they were named Oldowan tools after that location.There were 2 main categories of tools in the Oldowan Tradition. There were stone cobbles with several flakes knocked off usually at one end by heavy glancing percussion blows from another rock used as a hammer. This produced a jagged, chopping or cleaver-like implement that fit easily in the hand. These core tools most likely functioned as multipurpose hammering, chopping, and digging implements. Probably the most important tools, were sharp-edged stone flakes produced in the process of making the core tools. These simple flake tools were used without further modification as knives. They would have been essential for butchering large animals, because human teeth and fingers are totally inadequate for penetrating thick skins and removing pieces of meat. It has been suggested by some paleoanthropologists that the supposed core tools were in fact only sources for the flake tools and that the cores had little other use.Flake Tools: knives used for butchering animal
14 HOMO ERECTUS ca. 1.9 Million bp- ca. 100,000 bp First fully human speciesMoved out of Africa to populate tropical, subtropical and temperate zones throughout the old worldSkilled tool makersHighly successful speciesBy 1.9 million years ago, one or more of the early transitional human populations evolved into a new, fully human species. Most paleoanthropologists refer to them as Homo erectus . However, some researchers now split them into two species--Homo ergaster and Homo erectus. The ergaster fossils were earlier, dating million years ago, and have been found only in East Africa. The erectus discoveries mostly date million years ago and have been found widespread in Africa, Asia, and the fringes of Europe.Homo erectus were very successful in developing cultural technologies that allowed them to adapt to new environmental opportunities. They were true pioneers in developing human culture and in moving out of Africa to populate tropical, subtropical, and temperate environmental zones elsewhere in the Old World. Surprisingly, however, they remained largely unchanged anatomically until about 600,000 years ago. After that time, there were progressive evolutionary developments above the neck that led ultimately to modern humans.
15 the creation and use of stone tools new subsistence patterns Homo erectus Homo sapiensParalleling the biological evolution of early humans was the development of cultural technologies that allowed them to become increasingly successful at acquiring food and surviving predators. The evidence for this evolution in culture can be seen especially in:the creation and use of stone toolsnew subsistence patternsthe occupation of new environmental zonesHomo ergaster and Homo erectus heads were significantly different from ours. Their foreheads were relatively shallow, sloping back from very prominent brow ridges (i.e., supraorbital tori ).Their adult brain sizes ranged from about 850 to 1225 cm3 with an average of nearly 1000 cm3. The Homo erectus that had brains at the upper end of this range overlap some modern people in cranial capacity. However, these larger brained Homo erectus were relatively late in time and are considered by some paleoanthropologists to be Homo heidelbergensis or even early Archaic Homo sapiens. Homo ergaster and Homo erectus teeth were generally intermediate between modern humans and the australopithecines in shape and size. The teeth of later Homo erectus were relatively smaller than were the teeth of the earlier Homo ergaster. This evolutionary trend probably reflects a progressive change in diet to softer foods, including more meat and eventually cooked food.
16 Acheulean Hand Axes and Tools The Acheulean Tradition of tool making apparently began in East Africa 1.5 million years ago and spread into Southwest Asia and Europe by at least 600,000 years ago.AcheuleanHand Axesand ToolsBy 1.5 million years ago, the skills of their descendants, the Homo erectus, had increased to the point that they began making more sophisticated tools that are now considered to be diagnostic markers of a tool making tradition known as Acheulean . Perhaps, the most important of these new tools were hand axes. They were rock cores or large flakes that were systematically worked by percussion flaking to an elongated oval shape with one pointed end and sharp edges on the sides. In profile, they usually had a teardrop or broad leaf shape. Referring to these artifacts as hand axes may be misleading since we do not know for sure whether they were primarily axes in a modern sense or even if they were held in the hand. Very likely, they were multipurpose implements used for light chopping of wood, digging up roots and bulbs, butchering animals, and cracking bones. In a sense, they were the Swiss Army knives of their times. Some of the Acheulean tools were shaped by additional percussion flaking to relatively standardized forms. For instance, the surfaces of late Acheulean hand axes often had many relatively small flake scars indicating that these tools were not completely made with heavy hammerstones. Late transitional Homo erectus or their immediate successors must have begun using softer hammers for greater control in the final shaping process. Pieces of hard wood, antler, or bone would have functioned well for this purpose.While hand axes were the most diagnostic of Acheulean tools, they usually make up only a very small percentage of the artifacts found at Homo erectus sites. In fact, they made a wide range of stone tools that were used for processing various plant and animal materials. Their tool kits included choppers, cleavers, and hammers as well as flakes used as knives and scrapers. It is quite likely that Homo erectus also made many implements out of more perishable materials such as wood, bark, and even grass. Throughout most of the Homo erectus geographic range, there is clear evidence of progressive improvement in tool making over time. The late Homo erectus had more precise mental templates guiding them in the manufacture of their artifacts. In addition, the reliance on tools increased as the implements became more useful. By 400,000 years ago, major Homo erectus sites commonly had tens of thousands of stone tools.
17 Subsistence and Living Much fuller exploitation of animal food resources through hunting and carcass scavenging: sheep, pigs, buffalo, deer, turtles, birds, etc..Movement out of Africa to populate colder temperate zones made possible through new inventions and increased meat consumptionBegan to occupy caves and build shelterFamily unitsUse of fireHomo erectus was the first species in our line of evolution to expand their range beyond tropical and subtropical environments into temperate climatic zones of the Old World, where they encountered relatively cold winters. This occurred by at least 400,000 years ago in Asia and by nearly 800,000 years ago in Europe. It was made possible mainly by the success of new inventions and new subsistence strategies. The most important change may have been increased meat consumption as a result of hunting and more successful scavenging. The greatest difficulty living in temperate areas was probably not the cold weather but obtaining something to eat during the winter when fresh plant foods are scarce. It is in that season that meat would have been the most important calorie source.reconstruction of a possible dwelling at Terra Amata, France
18 The Coming of Fire What are the implications of fire use? LightWarmthAnimal managementCooked foodCommunal gatheringsSpecial status for fire-bearers
19 Early Archaic Homo Sapiens Blurry dividing line between Homo erectus and Homo sapiensEvolutionary changes extended over several hundred thousand years: ca. 600,000 bp-100,000 bpFossils of archaic Homo sapiens have been found throughout the old world.Extent of the interaction between the diverse and widely distributed populations is not clear.No agreement about which populations were the ancestors of modern humans.
20 Human Evolution Hominids appeared ca. 4 million years ago (bp) Homo erectus: ca. 700, ,000 bpHomo heidelbergensis: ca. 600, ,000 bpArchaic Homo sapiens: ca. 300, ,000 bpNeandertals: ca. 130,000-29,000 bpModern Homo sapiens sapiens: ca. 100,000 bp
21 Important Early Archaic Homo sapiens Sites Site Location Years Ago (approximate)Africa: Lake Ndutu (near Olduvai Gorge) 400,000?Broken Hill (Kabwe), Zambia 130,000+China: Dali, Shaanxi Province ,000Jinniushan, Liaoning Province 200,000Europe: Arago Cave, France ,000?Bilzingsleben, Germany ,000Terra Amata, France 400,Petralona Cave, Greece ,000?Steinheim, Germany ,000?Swanscombe, England ,000?Vértesszöllös, Hungary ,000?
22 Middle Paleolithic 75,000-35,000 bp Major leap forward in tool making traditions: The Mousterian tool traditionTools employed by Neandertals, other late archaic Homo sapiens and by such early modern Homo sapiens as Cro-magnonsPart of successful adaptation to hunting and gathering, especially in sub-arctic and temperate environment during the last Ice Age which began about 75,000 years ago
23 Mousterian ToolsMousterian Flake Tools: spear points (top); scrapers (bottom)The Mousterian Tradition was marked by the progressive reduction in the use of large core tools as specialized flake tools became more common. Flakes of more or less standardized shapes and sizes were often made with the Levallois technique. Flint and other brittle fracturing rock cores were percussion flaked on one side until a convex "tortoise shell" shape was formed. Then, a heavy percussion blow at one end of the core removed a large flake that was convex on one side and relatively flat on the other--i.e., a Levallois flake. These Levallois flakes were preforms for making a variety of scraping, cutting, and puncturing implements. The raw flakes were modified for particular uses by systematic percussion flaking. Mousterian flake knives were apparently used for such tasks as cutting small pieces of wood and butchering. Flake scrapers were probably used especially to process animal skins. Levallois flakes were also shaped into crude spear points. This was the first time in human prehistory that stone tips were affixed to spears. It allowed greater penetration of the spears and, subsequently, more effective killing of large animals. The fact that the Neandertals were the pioneers in creating these new deadly weapons is further reason to reject the old view that they were "dull-witted, brutish, ape-like creatures". Core tools, such as hand axes, continued to be made in the Mousterian Tradition. However, they were much more carefully and extensively worked than in the Acheulean Tradition. Small flake scars on many of the Mousterian hand axes suggest that the craftsmen were using hammers of bone, antler, or similar relatively soft materials for better control in the final stages of shaping. Much can be inferred about Neandertal culture from the archaeological evidence. For instance, it is likely that in colder climates, they wore some sort of protective clothing to keep warm. In all likelihood, they used animal skins for this purpose. There are two sources of indirect evidence for this. First, many Neandertal sites have stone awls or borers. These are usually flakes that have been shaped to produce a bird beak-like projection on one end or side. Awls are usually used to punch or drill holes in relatively soft materials such as wood and leather.Mousterian Hand AxNeandertal Awl
24 NEANDERTALS ca. 130,000-29,000 bpBest known of late archaic Homo sapiensBones first discovered in late 1820sFirst humans to live successfully in sub-arctic regions during ice ages
25 NEANDERTAL Figures modeled from skulls and skeletons IsraelFrance
26 Neandertal modern human Continuing controversy over relationship to Homo sapiens: Homo sapiens neandertalis or Homo neandertalis?Genetic evidence indicates that Neandertals were a separate variety of Homo sapiens, but successfully interbred with Homo sapiens sapiensThe Neandertals were physically diverse, but generally they were larger boned and more heavily muscled than most modern humans. They were relatively short compared to Europeans today--male Neandertals averaged just over 5 feet tall. They probably stood as erect as us. They were not only strong but apparently were quite flexible. The high density of their leg bones suggests that they did a great deal of walking and running. Neandertal heads were long (from front to back) compared to ours. This resulted in low, sloping foreheads. They had relatively large brow ridges and noses. They lacked the pointed chin that is common in modern Homo sapiens. These traits give the Neandertal face and head an appearance more reminiscent of late Homo erectus than of modern people. However, the brain size of Neandertals was essentially that of modern Europeans. In fact some Neandertals had gross cranial capacities above that of many modern people (especially those with small bodies).
29 Neandertal Death Rituals Burial in Fetal PositionNeandertal cave sites dating to after 90,000 years ago provide the first good evidence of ritual burial of the dead. They apparently buried relatives and friends in shallow graves dug into the soft midden soil of their living areas. Usually the bodies were flexed in a fetal position. Frequently, the bones were stained with hematite , a rust red iron ore. It is likely that the bodies were either sprinkled with hematite powder, or the powdered pigment was mixed with a liquid medium, such as vegetable seed oil, and painted on the bodies. In nearly half of the known Neandertal burials, stone tools were also left in the graves as if to prepare the dead for what was ahead of them. In the case of a burial in Shanidar Cave, Northern Iraq, there was even more elaborate ritual activity. The body apparently had been placed on pine boughs in the grave and flowers from 8 different species had been sprinkled on top. It is difficult to account for such activity by the Neandertals unless it is assumed that they believed in some sort of afterlife. If they thought that their dead relatives and friends were only food or garbage, it is highly unlikely that they would have carefully buried them in this way.Model of mourning Neandertal woman Gibraltar
30 Indications of Burial Rituals Burials contain food and tool offeringsSome sites have hearths built around skeletonsIn many sites skeletons are carefully arranged in sleep-like positionsA burial at Teshik-Tash is surrounded with animal hornsA body a Le Moustier, France, was covered in red ochre powderStone slabs are found over some burial sites
31 Shanidar Cave, Iraq Corpse placed in fetal position on bed of herbs Flowers of various species carefully arranged around body: yarrow, cornflowers, St. Barnaby's thistle, groundsel, grape hyacinths, woody horsetail, and a kind of mallow.Many of these have medicinal qualities.One of the most fascinating and controversial burial sites is the Shanidar Cave. The remains there, called Shanidar IV, were carefully placed in the fetal position on a rough bedding of woven woody horsetail, a type of local plant. According to the pollen samples taken, this Neandertal was interred with several different species of flowers. "From the orderly distribution of grains around the fossil remains, there is no question that the flowers were arranged deliberately and did not simply topple into the grave, as believed, as the body was being covered" (Leaky and Lewin 1977:125). Apparently, the family and friends of the deceased gathered these distinct species of flowers, carried them to the grave, and carefully placed them on the body. Some of the flower specimens found with Shanidar IV were yarrow, cornflowers, St. Banaby's thistle, groundsel, grape hyacinths, woody horsetail, and a kind of mallow. Many of these have medicinal qualities which "range from relief from toothache and inflammation to uses as poultices and for spasm" (Solecki :249). According to Solecki, "one may speculate that the individual was not only a very important man, a leader, but may have been a kind of medicine man or shaman in his group" (Shreeve 1995:53). From this analysis it is likely that the "Shanidar people were aware of at least some of the medicinal properties of the flowers is not unlikely" (Leaky and Lewin 1977:125).
32 La Chapelle-aux-saints Cave Individual was buried on his back, with his head to the west, the left arm extended and his legs flexed to the right.Next to the head were burnt animal remains, which could represent some feast or ritual.The burial site of the "Old Man," at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, was of vital importance in the growth of ideas about Neandertals during the turn of this century. This individual was buried on his back, with his head to the west, the left arm extended and his legs flexed to the right. Next to the head were three long bones of a mammalian metatarsal, along with other animal remains. Many of these bones appear to have be burnt, as well as the surrounding sediment, which could possibly represent some feast that took place before this individual was buried.
33 Community ParadoxSocial concern: social organization allowed disabled members of community to be cared for: La Chapelle-aux-Saints man had crippling arthritis and Shanidar man had degenerative joint disease caused by early bone injuriesCannibalism: evidence from the cave at Moula-Guercy, Ardeche, France indicates that humans were butchered and brain and bone marrow removed to be eatenIt is now becoming clear that the Neandertals had cultures and social organizations developed to the point that community members unable to provide for themselves were fed and cared for. The La Chapelle-aux-Saints man lived to well beyond the normal life expectancy of about He was years old and had severe crippling arthritis that would have made walking difficult. In addition, he would have been limited to soft foods since he only had 2 remaining teeth. It is likely that his last years were made possible only because others provided food and protection for him. The same pattern of group support for those unable to take care of themselves was found at Shanidar Cave. The man who had been so carefully buried there in a ritual manner had major orthopedic problems. Crushing injuries earlier in life resulted in multiple broken bones. This apparently, caused degenerative joint disease, the withering of one of his arms, and blindness in one eye. Like the La Chapelle-aux-Saints man, he would have been severely handicapped, yet he lived years. To do this, he must have had considerable community support.Excavations at the cave at Moula-Guercy, Ardeche, yielded 78 Neanderthal bones, from at least six individuals who lived 100,000 years ago. Remnants of two adults, two 15 or 16 year- olds, and two six or seven year-olds were dug up as well as nearly 400 pieces of animal bone. Careful study of tool marks and fractures on the remains shows that these Neanderthals were master butchers. "If we conclude that the animal remains are the leftovers from a meal, we're obliged to expand that conclusion to include humans," said the research team leader Alban Defleur, at the University of the Mediterranean Marseille. All the skulls and limb bones were broken apart, presumably to remove brain or marrow. Only the hand and foot bones remained intact, which contain no marrow. Arm and leg tendons were cut, a necessary action if a limb is to be removed. Other cuts show that the thigh muscles were removed, and in at least one case the tongue was cut out.
34 Cave Bear CultRitual burial of the heads of cave bears in at least 2 caves in Western Europe:Regourdou Cave in southern FranceDrachenloch Cave in SwitzerlandAt 12 feet tall standing up, these animals were larger than any bear species today.Cave bears hunted the same animals that the Neandertals did, and they probably would have considered people to be food as well.Cave bears would have engendered considerable fear and respect as powerful, dangerous creatures.Neandertals also ritually buried the heads of cave bears in at least 2 caves in Western Europe. At 12 feet tall standing up, these animals were larger than any bear species today. These paramount carnivores evidently hunted the same animals that the Neandertals did, and they probably would have considered people to be food as well. Cave bears would have engendered considerable fear and respect as powerful, dangerous creatures. Therefore, it is not surprising that at Regourdou Cave in Southern France, the Neandertals dug a rectangular pit, lined it with stones, and buried at least 20 hematite covered cave bear skulls. The cache was intentionally covered with a large stone slab. A similar cave bear head ritual burial pattern was found at Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland.
35 Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland Stone chest built by the Neandertals, who also inhabited the entrance of the cave.Top of the structure covered by a massive stone slab.Inside were the skulls of seven bears arranged with muzzles facing the cave entrance, and deeper in the cave six more bear skulls in niches along the wallDrachenloch Cave in Switzerland
36 Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland Supposed symbol of the "cult of the cave bear" consisted of the skull of a three-year-old bear pierced in the cheek by the leg-bone of younger bear.
37 Neandertal Art Few artifacts in archeological record Bones and rocks with scratched patternsHighly polished, colored mammoth’s molarPendant from Arcy-sur-Cure, FranceBone with clear markingsAmuletMay indicate interaction between Neandertals and Cro-magnons
38 Neandertal MusicIn 1996, a flute made from a juvenile bear femur with two intact pierced holes was found at the former Neandertal hunting camp of Divje Babei, in SloveniaThe notes on the Neanderthal flute, are consistent with 4 notes of the minor diatonic scale.One further piece of evidence has been uncovered recently that narrows the cultural distance between Neandertals and us. At the Divje Babe 1 site in Slovenia, a Neandertal 4 holed flute made from a bear leg bone was found. Since it dates to between 82,000 and 43,000 years ago, it is the earliest known musical instrument.
39 Neandertal MusicOne further piece of evidence has been uncovered recently that narrows the cultural distance between Neandertals and us. At the Divje Babe 1 site in Slovenia, a Neandertal 4 holed flute made from a bear leg bone was found. Since it dates to between 82,000 and 43,000 years ago, it is the earliest known musical instrument.Daniel Maurer/Associated PressNicholas J. Conard of the University of Tübingen, in Germany, showed a thin bird-bone flute carved some 35,000 years ago.
40 Neandertal Music Music played on replica flute. The bone flute, with 5 finger holes, found in Hohle Fels Cave in Ulm, Germany, in , is at least 35,000 years old.It was fashioned from a hollow bone of griffin vulture.An abundance of stone and ivory artifacts, flint-knapping debris and bones of hunted animals had been found in the sediments with the flutes.By JOHN NOBLE WILFORDPublished: June 24, 2009At least 35,000 years ago, in the depths of the last ice age, the sound of music filled a cave in what is now southwestern Germany, the same place and time early Homo sapiens were also carving the oldest known examples of figurative art in the world.Multimedia Music Played on Replica FluteRSS FeedGet Science News From The New York Times »Enlarge This ImageH. Jensen/University of TübingenScientists say that this bone flute, found at Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany, is at least 35,000 years old.Music and sculpture — expressions of artistic creativity, it seems — were emerging in tandem among some of the first modern humans when they began spreading through Europe or soon thereafter.Archaeologists Wednesday reportedthe discovery last fall of a bone flute and two fragments of ivory flutes that they said represented the earliest known flowering of music-making in Stone Age culture. They said the bone flute with five finger holes, found at Hohle Fels Cave in the hills west of Ulm, was “by far the most complete of the musical instruments so far recovered from the caves” in a region where pieces of other flutes have been turning up in recent years.A three-hole flute carved from mammoth ivory was uncovered a few years ago at another cave, as well as two flutes made from the wing bones of a mute swan. In the same cave, archaeologists also found beautiful carvings of animals.But until now the artifacts appeared to be too rare and were not dated precisely enough to support wider interpretations of the early rise of music. The earliest solid evidence of musical instruments previously came from France and Austria, but dated much more recently than 30,000 years ago.In an article published online by the journal Nature, Nicholas J. Conard of the University of Tübingen, in Germany, and colleagues wrote, “These finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe.”Although radiocarbon dates earlier than 30,000 years ago can be imprecise, samples from the bones and associated material were tested independently by two laboratories, in England and Germany, using different methods. Scientists said the data agreed on ages of at least 35,000 years.Dr. Conard, a professor of archaeology, said in an message from Germany that “the new flutes must be very close to 40,000 calendar years old and certainly date to the initial settlement of the region.”Dr. Conard’s team said an abundance of stone and ivory artifacts, flint-knapping debris and bones of hunted animals had been found in the sediments with the flutes. Many people appeared to have lived and worked there soon after their arrival in Europe, assumed to be around 40,000 years ago and 10,000 years before the native Neanderthals became extinct.The Neanderthals, close human relatives, apparently left no firm evidence of having been musical.The most significant of the new artifacts, the archaeologists said, was a flute made from a hollow bone from a griffon vulture; griffon skeletons are often found in these caves. The preserved portion is about 8.5 inches long and includes the end of the instrument into which the musician blew. The maker carved two deep, V-shaped notches there, and four fine lines near the finger holes. The other end appears to have been broken off; judging by the typical length of these bird bones, two or three inches are missing.Dr. Conard’s discovery in 2004 of the seven-inch three-hole ivory flute at the Geissenklösterle cave, also near Ulm, inspired him to widen his search of caves, saying at the time that southern Germany “may have been one of the places where human culture originated.”Friedrich Seeberger, a German specialist in ancient music, reproduced the ivory flute in wood. Experimenting with the replica, he found that the ancient flute produced a range of notes comparable in many ways to modern flutes. “The tones are quite harmonic,” he said.A replica has yet to be made of the recent discovery, but the archaeologists said they expected the five-hole flute with its larger diameter to “provide a comparable, or perhaps greater, range of notes and musical possibilities.”
41 Upper Paleolithic 35,000-12,000 bpMovement of Homo sapiens sapiens throughout the worldExtinction of at least 50 types of large animalsHeight of Old Stone Age technical sophisticationMost advanced tool tradition was the Magdalenian tradition of Western Europe ca. 17,000-10,000 bpFirst major art works:Cave paintingsSmall sculptured figurinesThe first fossils of early Homo sapiens sapiens to be identified were found in 1868 in a 28,000 year old rock shelter site near the village of les Eyzies in Southwestern France. They were subsequently named the Cro-Magnon people. They were very similar in appearance to modern Europeans. Males were 5'4" to 6' tall. Their skeletons generally were lighter than the Neandertals. The Cro-Magnon had broad, small faces with pointed chins and high foreheads. Their cranial capacities were up to 1590 cm3. By comparison, the average human brain size today is about 1345 cm3
42 Modern Humans: HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS First fossil remains of Homo sapiens sapiens -- named Cro-magnon-- found in 1868 in a 28,000 year old rock shelter in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, FranceHomo sapiens sapiens very likely evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in Africa and/or the Near EastEarliest remains dated to 120, ,000 years ago in Near East and south AfricaBegan to appear in Europe and east Asia. 50,000-40,000 years agoThe first fossils of early Homo sapiens sapiens to be identified were found in 1868 in a 28,000 year old rock shelter site near the village of les Eyzies in Southwestern France. They were subsequently named the Cro-Magnon people. They were very similar in appearance to modern Europeans. Males were 5'4" to 6' tall. Their skeletons generally were lighter than the Neandertals. The Cro-Magnon had broad, small faces with pointed chins and high foreheads. Their cranial capacities were up to 1590 cm3. By comparison, the average human brain size today is about 1345 cm3Current paleoanthropological data suggest that Homo sapiens sapiens very likely evolved from Archaic Homo sapiens in Africa and/or the Near East. They have been dated to 115,000-96,000 years ago at Qafzeh Cave in Israel. In South Africa, they have been found at Klasses River Mouth and Border Cave sites dating to 120, ,000 years ago. Since these time ranges overlap, it is not clear which area was the earliest to have modern people. However, it was not until 50,000-40,000 years ago that they began to appear in Europe and East Asia. This was during a short temperate period in the midst of the last ice age. It would seem from these dates that the location of initial modern human evolution and the direction of their dispersion from that area is obvious
43 Models of Homo Sapiens Sapiens Evolution There are 2 lines of evidence supporting the replacement model--the fossil record and DNA. So far, the earliest finds of modern Homo sapiens skeletons come from Africa and bordering areas of the Near East. Elsewhere in the Old World they appear thousand years later. Unless modern human remains dating to around 100,000 years ago turn up in Europe and/or Asia, it would seem that the replacement model better explains the data. Through comparisons of mitochondrial DNA from living people throughout the world, it was concluded that Africa has the greatest genetic diversity and therefore must be the homeland of all Homo sapiens sapiens. Assuming a specific rate of mutation, it was suggested that the common ancestor of modern humans was a woman living ,000 years ago. She has been dubbed "mitochondrial Eve"Fossil evidence is used to support the regional continuity model. Its advocates claim that there has been a continuity of some anatomical traits from Archaic Homo sapiens to modern humans in Europe and Asia. In other words, the Asian and European physical characteristics have antiquity in these regions going back over 100,000 years. They point to the fact that many Europeans have relatively heavy brow ridges reminiscent of Neandertals. Similarly, it is claimed that Chinese facial characteristics can be seen in Asian Archaic Homo sapiens dating to 200,000 years ago.One suggestion has been a partial replacement model. This proposes that the first modern humans did evolve in Africa, but when they migrated into other regions they did not replace existing human populations. Rather, they interbred with late Archaic Homo sapiens resulting in hybrid populations. In Europe, for instance, the first modern humans appear in the archaeological record rather suddenly around 40,000 years ago. The abruptness of the appearance of these Cro-Magnon people could be explained by their migrating into the region from another area, possibly the Near East or North Africa. They apparently shared Europe with Neandertals for another 10,000 years or more. During this long time period, it is argued that interbreeding occurred and that the partially hybridized predominantly Cro-Magnon population ultimately became the modern Europeans.
44 Replacement Regional Continuity Another interesting controversy relates to whether modern humans evolved from Homo erectus once, fairly recently, in Africa, and then peopled the Earth by migrating along the routes indicated by the arrows. This view is called the and it is supported by the genetic evidence of modern human populations. Human DNA from all races and regions of the Earth is nearly identical, implying that our species has a fairly recent and common point of origin.The opposing theory holds that modern humans evolved "in parallel from several dispersed Homo erectus populations at roughly the same time over a period from 400,000 to 300,000 years ago. The arrows suggest that some intermingling of these regional populations was going on. This theory is supported by the fossil evidence, which shows many intermediate forms and some continuity in the characteristics of regional populations, such as shovel- shaped incisors in Asian populations from Homo erectus to modern humans.Regional Continuity
45 Europe 28,000-20,000 years agoDuring the first half of the Upper Paleolithic period, between 28,000 and 22,000 years ago, the northern hemisphere began to feel the effects of a climatic cooling, which eventually led to the peak of the last great ice age, about 20,000 years ago. Much of Northern Europe was then slowly invaded by enormous ice sheets moving down from northern Scandinavia. Further south, glaciers of varying sizes also formed in a few massifs, chiefly the Alps. As the ice accumulated, sea levels subsided, exposing vast coastal areas; in certain areas these took the form of isthmuses that, for a time, connected islands to the continent. The changing face of Europe was thus continuously subjected to major environmental upheavals, which affected both animal and plant life. It was during this long period of change - or, according to some experts, partly because of it - that the cultural phenomenon known as the Gravettian period emerged across the continent. Within this cultural context - one that we still do not fully understand - the first great statuaries of the Western world, and perhaps Eurasia, were developed.
46 Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, known as the "Capital of Prehistory" because remains of Cro-Magnon man were first discovered here.In the cliffs above town, caves provided shelters for the practice of magic. For thousands of years, humans inhabited these caves and left bones, tools, utensilsLes Eyzies-de-Tayac, known as the "Capital of Prehistory" because remains of Cro-Magnon man were discovered here. In the cliffs above town, caves provided shelters for the practice of magic. For thousands of years, humans inhabited these caves and left bones, tools, utensils
47 Ivory figurines Les Eyzies-de-Tayac La"Dame à la Capuche". Cette splendide et fameuse sculpture en ivoire est une des très rares représentations humaines laissant deviner des détails du visage.Ce cheval d'ivoire d'un peu plus de 7 cm est une des pièces maîtresses de l'art paléolithique. Si les hommes du paléolitique maîtrisaient de nombreux supports d'expression artistique, la pierre, le bois, les os, l'argile...très peu de thèmes furent traités et, parmi ceux-ci, la représentation animale domine nettement.Les Eyzies-de-Tayac
48 Cro-magnon Hunters Developed coordinated group hunting techniques Increased importance of small game and plant foodNew specialized hunting weapons:SpearsToggle-head harpoonsBow and arrowFishing spears, hooks and netsAll modern human beings living today belong to the species Homo sapiens, which evolved at least 100,000 years ago in Africa. Today's humans are the only surviving members of the genus Homo. About 30,000 years ago, Homo sapiens had spread to almost every continent in the world. North and South America were the last major continents to have been inhabited by modern humans, about 12,000 years ago.The earliest European Homo sapiens were known as Cro-Magnons, after the area in southern France where the first fossils of the species were found. Existing about 30,000 years ago during the last glacial age, these hominids had a squat face with hollow cheekbones and projecting nasal bones, sharply defined eye sockets, high foreheads, and a definite chin.The abundance of surviving Cro-Magnon artwork is one of the reasons so much is known about this culture. Cave paintings and clay figurines reveal information about the daily life and ritual practices of these early humans.The Cro-Magnons hunted mostly with spears, which they made by mounting a cutting edge made of flint on wood or antler. They did not live primarily in caves, but at places where an overhang provided shelter. They hunted large animals, but the staples of their diet were berries, roots, mushrooms, and wild fruit. The Cro-Magnons wore clothes and adorned themselves with ornaments of bone and shell.
49 Cro-magnon Tools Development of tools for making tools Burins: narrow gouging chisels -- used to carve bone, tusks and antlersPunches and pressure flakersCompound tools: detachable points connected to spears -- allowed for replacement and repairSewing needlesThroughout the Paleolithic, over time, stone tools provide evidence of increasing:selection of materialsuseful cutting edge,symmetry,investment of effort,diversity and number of techniques,number of steps,complexity of stages, anddiversity and number of different tool types.In addition, by the Late Paleolithic, tool making was very hierarchically organized, employing specialized stone knapping techniques such as: pressure flaking, indirect percussion, and soft hammer techniques that require considerable perceptual, judgmental, and planning skills as well as fine motor coordination. Moreover, stone tools were also being used to make secondary tools further increasing the complexity and temporal demands of forward planning. There is a fairly regular development of such techniques throughout the Paleolithic as there is of the brain. As noted above these developments are also correlated with potential niche exploitation.
50 Cro-magnon Artists"If the total span of human existence on earth equals one year, then art originated within the last two weeks."PALEOGRAPHICS: any activity that results in the production of visual signs in any medium -- what is generally referred to as "art” as well as images typically designated as signs and symbols.Beginnings of graphic activity. Prior to 33,000 b.p.All modern human beings living today belong to the species Homo sapiens, which evolved at least 100,000 years ago in Africa. Today's humans are the only surviving members of the genus Homo. About 30,000 years ago, Homo sapiens had spread to almost every continent in the world. North and South America were the last major continents to have been inhabited by modern humans, about 12,000 years ago.The earliest European Homo sapiens were known as Cro-Magnons, after the area in southern France where the first fossils of the species were found. Existing about 30,000 years ago during the last glacial age, these hominids had a squat face with hollow cheekbones and projecting nasal bones, sharply defined eye sockets, high foreheads, and a definite chin.The abundance of surviving Cro-Magnon artwork is one of the reasons so much is known about this culture. Cave paintings and clay figurines reveal information about the daily life and ritual practices of these early humans.The Cro-Magnons hunted mostly with spears, which they made by mounting a cutting edge made of flint on wood or antler. They did not live primarily in caves, but at places where an overhang provided shelter. They hunted large animals, but the staples of their diet were berries, roots, mushrooms, and wild fruit. The Cro-Magnons wore clothes and adorned themselves with ornaments of bone and shell.
51 Paleographics There are two very general classes of graphic activity: Mobiliary statuary and graphics in stone, bone, ivory, horn, antler, clay.Painted or carved graphics in rock shelters and caves.Paleographics (Stone Age "Art"): Prior to 33,000 B.P. (Before Present) we see the beginnings of graphic activity. I will use the term "graphic activity" to designate any activity that results in the production of visual signs in any medium. This will incorporate what is generally referred to as "art", such as pictures or figurines, as well as the production of non-figurative marks that are typically designated as signs and (often mistakenly, I believe, when applied to Paleolithic marks) symbols. In Europe, this activity began in the Aurignacian and peaked in the Magdelenian (See Figure 2: Time Chart. These are exclusively associated with Homo sapiens with the possible exception of a few very ambiguous cases. There exists evidence of graphic activity, associated with modern humans, at sites in Africa, Australia, Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe.There are two very general classes of graphic activity:Mobiliary statuary and graphics in stone, bone, ivory, horn, antler, clay.Parietal graphics in Rock shelters and Caves.The graphics consist largely of megafauna (large animals: mainly horses, bison, aurochs (wild cattle), mammoths, various species of deer, and goats), a few birds and smaller mammals, enigmatic signs (rectilinear shapes, wedges ("claviforms"), tectiforms (like a roof), dots, lines, strands ("spagetthi"), hand prints. Human figures are rare (except for the so-called "Venus" figurines) and in contrast to some of the animal images, almost always very crudely rendered. Why did Paleolithic people make these graphics? There are several questions implied. What motivated them to bother? Why did they occur when they did and not earlier? What capacities were required?
52 Paleographics The graphics consist largely of Megafauna (large animals: mainly horses, bison, aurochs (wild cattle), mammoths, various species of deer, and goats)A few birds and smaller mammals,Enigmatic signs (rectilinear shapes, wedges ("claviforms"), tectiforms (like a roof), dots, lines, strands ("spaghetti")Hand printsHuman figures are rare (except for the so-called "venus" figurines) and are almost always abstractly rendered.Paleographics (Stone Age "Art"): Prior to 33,000 B.P. (Before Present) we see the beginnings of graphic activity. I will use the term "graphic activity" to designate any activity that results in the production of visual signs in any medium. This will incorporate what is generally referred to as "art", such as pictures or figurines, as well as the production of non-figurative marks that are typically designated as signs and (often mistakenly, I believe, when applied to Paleolithic marks) symbols. In Europe, this activity began in the Aurignacian and peaked in the Magdelenian (See Figure 2: Time Chart. These are exclusively associated with Homo sapiens with the possible exception of a few very ambiguous cases. There exists evidence of graphic activity, associated with modern humans, at sites in Africa, Australia, Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe.There are two very general classes of graphic activity:Mobiliary statuary and graphics in stone, bone, ivory, horn, antler, clay.Parietal graphics in Rock shelters and Caves.The graphics consist largely of megafauna (large animals: mainly horses, bison, aurochs (wild cattle), mammoths, various species of deer, and goats), a few birds and smaller mammals, enigmatic signs (rectilinear shapes, wedges ("claviforms"), tectiforms (like a roof), dots, lines, strands ("spagetthi"), hand prints. Human figures are rare (except for the so-called "Venus" figurines) and in contrast to some of the animal images, almost always very crudely rendered. Why did Paleolithic people make these graphics? There are several questions implied. What motivated them to bother? Why did they occur when they did and not earlier? What capacities were required?
54 Cave ArtFirst, outline figures predominate. When animals or other objects are depicted often only the occluding bounds of the object are depicted. Even among solid chromatic images occluding bounds are outlined by scratching, engraving, and application of contrastive coloring. Charcoal sketches have been found under subsequent applications of pigments at Niaux (Clottes, Menu, & Walter, a,b). This characteristic of outlining and the simplicity of the many of the images produces an effect of a cartoon-like economy. The cartoon-like quality is enhance by another common feature, the use of caricature or exaggeration of distinctive features of the objects depicted.Paleolithic images of animals are all but invariably depicted in profile, at least the major components such as head, neck, torso, and legs are in profile. However, these profiles also frequently have a "twisted" perspective in which horns, antlers, tusks, feet, and sometimes ears are presented in perspectives that deviate from over-all profile presentation in varying degrees. In both mobiliary and parietal graphics the images and designs often either incorporate, modify, or accommodate natural contours, breaks, and edges in the supporting medium. Graphics, whether animals or symbols, appear to be executed as discrete, stand-alone, images and, I will argue, they are so thoroughly componential that even the parts may frequently stand alone. With rare and questionable exceptions there is a notable absence of context, either environmental or narrative.
55 La Grotte Chauvet: 30,000 bp – World’s Oldest Painted Cave The cave was not used for human habitationA hearth was possibly used to provide light for Paleolithic artistsScores of cave bears appear to have hibernated in the grotto, and the ground is littered with their bonesDiscovered in 1994 near Vallon- Pont-d‘Arc in southern FranceIn mid-December 1994, a team of three friends, led by speleologist Jean-Marie Chauvet, exploring along the limestone cliffs above the gorges of the Ardëche, a tributary of the Rhone, stumbled upon an amazing cave.At the foot of a cliff in the Ardèche Gorges, in south-eastern France, amateur speleologists have discovered the world's oldest painted prehistoric cave. And as this ornate temple to cave painting1, this Palaeolithic2 sanctuary, slowly divulges its secrets, it is furrowing the brows of many prehistorians. Indeed, it would seem that, 31,000 years ago, prehistoric man was already painting and engraving with hitherto unsuspected skill and dexterity.The French government has finally expropriated the land surrounding Chauvet Cave and has allowed a team led by Jean Clottes of the Ministry of Culture to begin a four-year research program. The cave, housing a spectacular array of Paleolithic art, was discovered in December 1994 near Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in southern France (see "Stone Age Masterpieces Found," March/April 1995, and "Images of the Ice Age," July/August 1995). In May, Clottes' 15-member team undertook the first of two two-week campaigns scheduled for this year. At least 25 animal images have come to light that were not spotted in initial investigations. Researchers thus far feel certain that the cave was not used for human habitation. Although a hearth measuring 2 1/2 feet in diameter was found, Clottes feels it was possibly used to provide light for Paleolithic artists. Scores of cave bears appear to have hibernated in the grotto, and the ground is littered with their bones. It is not yet clear how long the bears used the space before and after the artists
61 Lascaux 1700 bp “the Sistine Chapel of Caves” The western edges of the Massif Central and the northern slopes of the Pyrenees are noted for an exceptional concentration of Paleolithic caves.130 sanctuariesThe most renowned is LascauxDiscovered in 1940 by 4 teenagers, closed to public in 1963, Lascaux II opened in 1980Contains over 1500 paintings
66 These images do not provide direct evidence that their creators were members of a mythic culture or that the images were involved in accounts of, or rituals concerning, hunting, initiation, fertility or derived symbolic activity. They do provide considerable evidence for an interest in certain details of animal anatomy. That they may have provided, in part, the ground from which all of these and more emerged is a possibility that will be entertained at the end of this paper. Certainly graphic activity in the Neolithic in Spain and Africa provide a dramatic contrast in which there is considerable evidence of interest in depicting events and perhaps even some impatience with anatomical details. This contrast suggests the culture(s) of the Late Paleolithic were neither Oral nor Literate in the sense of Ong (1966; Goody, 1977, ) but one that, based on the evidence and argument presented below, may be called IcHorse, Lascaux
67 Reindeer, wall painting, Font-de-Gaume caves, Dordogne There is no clear evidence, on the other hand, that the earlier Paleolithic graphics were concerned with stories, myths, or anything event-like at all. Paleolithic art appears to have been concerned with the externalized perceptual image and with its components, especially those that were distinctive and diagnostic. They may have learned much from their externalized imagery. Importantly, they may have been able to make more explicit just what differentiated one animal from another. Perhaps because these images were so revelatory they were viewed with much interest and awe, perhaps even something akin worshipful admiration. Perhaps the images or came to be associated with something like the religious-magical sensibility the early prehistorians imagined them to have been. However, in the present view the graphics were not merely an expression of such feelings but something instrumental in the creation of such feelings. It has been conjectured that the large prey animals portrayed in the Paleolithic graphics, being so central to the lives of the graphists, were simply "good to think about." A great discovery of these earlier graphists was that the externalization of their visual-spatial imagery helped them systematically to think about things that were "good to think about."Reindeer, wall painting, Font-de-Gaume caves, Dordogne
68 Altamira, Spain 19,000-11,000 bpPaintings located in the deep recesses of caves in the mountains of northern SpainAltamira is the only site of cave paintings where people lived in the first cavern with actual paintingsThe paintings at Altamira primarily focus on bison, important because of the hunt.There are three major sites containing cave paintings in Northern Spain which are presumed to have been painted by the Magdalenian people between 16,000-9,000 BC. Spanish archeologist Don Marcelino first discovered the caves at Altamira with their unique showcase of cave paintings. The paintings are located in the deep recesses of caves in the mountains of Northern Spain, far out of the reach of the destructive forces of wind and water. Thus these paintings have undergone little change from when they were first painted 11,000-19,000 years ago. The wall illustrations are not the only signs of human habitation here. Tools, hearths and food remains were preserved here for thousands of years. Altamira is the only site of cave paintings in which the signs of domestic life extend into the first cavern which contain the actual paintings. Oddly, the walls and ceilings of the Altamira caves lack the soot deposits which have been found in other similar caves. This might suggest that the people at Altamira had slightly more advanced lighting technology which gave off less smoke and soot than the torches and fat lamps which Paleolithic people are given credit for.
69 Ceiling, Altamira: 15 bison These images do not provide direct evidence that their creators were members of a mythic culture or that the images were involved in accounts of, or rituals concerning, hunting, initiation, fertility or derived symbolic activity. They do provide considerable evidence for an interest in certain details of animal anatomy. That they may have provided, in part, the ground from which all of these and more emerged is a possibility that will be entertained at the end of this paper. Certainly graphic activity in the Neolithic in Spain and Africa provide a dramatic contrast in which there is considerable evidence of interest in depicting events and perhaps even some impatience with anatomical details. This contrast suggests the culture(s) of the Late Paleolithic were neither Oral nor Literate in the sense of Ong (1966; Goody, 1977, ) but one that, based on the evidence and argument presented below, may be called IcCeiling, Altamira: 15 bison
70 The frieze of swimming stags What means did ancient peoples use to paint on the walls? The paints used for these creations were derived from natural earth pigments like ochre and zinc oxides. The paintings at Altamira boast of as many as three colors in the body of a single animal--a significant advance in technical skill over most cave artistry. This technical skill is further reflected in the accuracy of the physical proportions of depicted animals. Another advance in technical development at Altamira is that many of the animals are painted on natural protrusions from the rock face; most samples of cave painting ignore the natural character of the rock concentrating on only one dimension.The paintings at Altamira are unique from other cave paintings in many ways. The technical skill of the Magdalenian people set the Altamira paintings apart from the rest. For they employed many different colors, where others used only one. They used the facets of rock to complement the animal design instead of painting a flat picture. They discovered more advanced lighting approaches. And finally, they were fortunate enough to have resided in caves so remote that all their hard work and creativity would remain unscathed for thousands of years. Archaeologists, historians, sociologists and students are just a few of the people who have learned more about ancient people through these masterpieces at Altamira.The frieze of swimming stags
71 Female FigurinesThe Two-Headed Lady This piece portrays a woman's body that has two heads. It is the smallest of the figurines found by Louis Alexandre Jullien at the Balzi Rossi, and one of the smallest specimens in all Gravettian female statuary from Western Europe. Size notwithstanding, the artist has given a very refined rendering of the customary anatomical proportions, with an obvious concern for symmetry. The breasts are overemphasized, as is the belly, which is disproportionate and surrounded by incisions rendering it almost separate from the rest of the body. The tapered legs are distinguished by a single line. Like The Armless Lady, this piece has no arms.The two heads have a perforation between them, which suggests that the piece was used as a pendant. They are attached at the shoulders or base of the necks, as well as by the arch over the pendant hole. The heads have no obvious facial features, although a few lines and fine incisions serve to indicate hair or headgear. Made of greenish-yellow serpentine and highly polished, the figurine is 27.5 millimetres high.
72 “VENUS” or FEMALE FIGURINES The distinctive features consist of breasts, buttocks, bellies and vulvas, emphasized and greatly exaggeratedThe extremities: head, arms, hands, legs and feet, are very much diminished or missingBecause these figures are often faceless, and sometimes headless, the images are probably signs of WOMAN rather than images of women.Stylized "Venus" figurines carved in ivory, Aurignacian-Gravettian (c. 24,800 BC). From Dolní Vestonice, Mikulov, Moravia, Czechoslovakia. In the Moravian Museum, Brno, Czechoslovakia. Height (left) 8.3 cm and (right) cm. By courtesy of the Czechoslovak News Agency, Prague She also exhibits, in ways that are at once appealing (to most women, perhaps) and threatening (to most men, perhaps), a physical and sexual self that seems unrestrained, unfettered by cultural taboos and social conventions. She is an image of "natural" femaleness, of uninhibited female power, which "civilization", in the figure of the Classical Venus, later sought to curtail and bring under control. To identify the Willendorf figurine as "Venus", then, was a rich, male joke that neatly linked the primitive and the female with the uncivilized and at the same time, through implicit contrast with the Classical Venus, served as a reassuring example to the patriarchal culture of the extent to which the female and female sexuality had been overcome and women effectively subjugated by the male-dominated civilizing process There is also a sex/gender conflict; between female and feminine. From a patriarchal western cultural point of view, the Classical Venus is both sexually female and also feminine in terms of gender. According to current theory, while sex is biological, the product of nature, gender is to be understood as social, the product of nurture or culture. The "Venus" of Willendorf is visibly biologically female, but she is not feminine; the name "Venus" imposes upon her a gendered femininity that she does not have, so again she fails.
73 Woman of Willendorf 24,000-22,000 Bce The most famous early image of a human, a woman, is the so-called "Venus" of Willendorf, found in 1908 by the archaeologist Josef Szombathy in an Aurignacian loess deposit near the town of Willendorf in Austria and now in the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. The statuette was carved from a particular type of oolitic limestone not found in the region and so must have been brought to the area from another location. When first discovered the "Venus" of Willendorf was thought to date to approximately 15,000 to 10,000 BCE, or more or less to the same period as the cave paintings at Lascaux in France. In the 1970s the date was revised back to 25, ,000 BCE, and then in the 1980s it was revised again to c. 30,000-25,000 BCE Carbon 14 chronology of the Central European Upper Paleolithic, however, now indicates a date for the "Venus" of Willendorf of around 24,000-22,000 BCE ( ,000 B.P.) Her great age and exaggerated female forms have established the "Venus" of Willendorf as an icon of prehistoric art. As the discipline of art history underwent a paradigm shift during the 1960s away from discussing art objects that were characteristic of an age to selecting art objects that represented the highest artistic accomplishments of the age, no matter how unique and extraordinary, the "Venus" of Willendorf quickly achieved a singular status. Although she was already being included in books devoted to Stone Age art published in the 1920s, it is not until the 1960s that the statuette begins to appear in the introductory art history books where she quickly displaced other previously used examples of Paleolithic art. Being both female and nude, she fitted perfectly into the patriarchal construction of the history of art that has tended to emphasize the more derogatory depictions of women in art through the ages. As the earliest known representation, she became the "first" woman, acquiring an Ur-Eve identity that focused suitably, from a patriarchal point of view, on the fascinating yet grotesque reality of the female body and its bulging vegetable nature; an impersonal composition of sexually-charged swollen shapes; an embodiment of overflowing fertility, of mindless fecundity, of eternal sex, the woman from which all women descend.
74 From the front, the place where her face should be seems to be largely concealed by what are generally described as rows of plaited hair wrapped around her head. Close examination, however, reveals that the rows are not one continuous spiral but are, in fact, composed in seven concentric horizontal bands that encircle the head, with two more half-bands below at the back of her neck. The topmost circle has the form of a rosette. The bands vary in width from front to back to sides, and also vary in size from each other. Cut across the groove separating each band at regular, closely-spaced intervals is a series of more or less lozenge-shaped deep vertical notches, some wide, others narrow, that extend equally into the band above and into the band below. These notches alternate between bands to produce the effect of braided or plaited hair. That it is intended to be understood as braided hair seems clear. What is less clear is how it could be arranged into separate bands encircling the head. When seen in profile, the impression is that the figure is looking down with her chin sunk to her chest, and her hair looks more like hair; longer at back and falling and gathering like real hair might on her upper back. Some find it significant that the number of full circles is seven; many thousands of years later seven was regarded as a magic number. Such elaborate treatment of hair is extremely rare in Paleolithic figurines, and the considerable attention paid to it by the sculptor must mean it had some significance. In later cultures, hair has been considered a source of strength, and as the seat of the soul. Hair also has a long history as a source of erotic attraction that lies, perhaps surprisingly, not so much in its color, style, or length, but in its odor.Another characteristic of Paleolithic "Venus" figurines is the lack of feet.It has been suggested that possibly the intention was to curtail the figurine's power to leave wherever she had been placed. A more common explanation is that because the statuette served as a fertility idol, the sculptor included only those parts of the female body needed for the conception and nurture of children. Even if she had feet, though, it seems unlikely that she was meant to stand up. This is even more true of the other Paleolithic figurines. Nor it seems was she ever intended to lie in a supine position. In fact, her most satisfactory, and most satisfying, position is being held in the palm of the hand. When seen under these conditions, she is utterly transformed as a piece of sculpture. As fingers are imagined gripping her rounded adipose masses, she becomes a remarkably sensuous object, her flesh seemingly soft and yielding to the touch.
75 The Caves of Balzi Rossi explored in late 1890s by Louis Jullien It was during this period of intense archaeological research that Louis Alexandre Jullien, who came from a family of merchants in the Marseilles region, began excavations at the Balzi Rossi (Red Rocks, also known as the Grimaldi Caves), near Menton on the Italian side of the French Italian border. Jullien continued his excavations, discreetly and intermittently, until According to his statements and a few documents written at the time, Jullien was able to collect a substantial amount of material dating back to Upper Paleolithic, or, as we are now able to determine more precisely, Gravettian times. Particularly interesting was his discovery of fifteen small sculptures made of soft stone, antler or ivory. Most of these were female figures that fit a particular classification; along with similar pieces found at other sites, they became known collectively as "Venuses". The figurine that Jullien sold to the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in France, in 1896, was one of the first examples of this new type of sculpture to be recognized by prehistorians. However, the piece proved to be controversial. At the time, some questioned its authenticity -- apparently without justification, but in part as a result of the mystery that had surrounded Jullien's work and that continues to influence speculation on his discoveries. Soon after this, Jullien emigrated to Canada. He maintained an interest in prehistory: he corresponded with Sir William Dawson (at Montreal's McGill University) between 1895 and , and, at a later date, gave him part of his collection of stone tools and bones from the Balzi Rossi. During the same period, Jullien sold six more of his statuettes to the French prehistorian Édouard Piette, who, in turn, donated them to the Musée des Antiquités NationalesResearchers in France continued to take a keen interest in the artifacts that Jullien had found. In 1914, the celebrated French prehistorian Father Henri Breuil managed, with the help of a Sulpician friend who was teaching in Montreal, to renew contact with Jullien. The information he obtained on The Bust (one of the pieces in this exhibition) was published in Unfortunately, the First World War ( ) brought an end to such exchanges, and postwar efforts to relocate Jullien and his collection were unsuccessful. The male line of the family died out in the 1920s, and Jullien's daughters left Montreal to settle in Arthabaska and New York Part of what remained of the collection resurfaced in 1944, however, when one of Jullien's daughters living in the United States sold one of the statuettes plus a number of other stone, bone and shell objects to Harvard's Peabody Museum. After that, the Second World War ( ) overshadowed any news about the Louis Alexandre Jullien collection. In 1986, U.S. researcher Alexander Marshack rediscovered the Peabody figurine (Woman with pierced neck or Janus), but aside from this development, the whereabouts of the figurines remained a mystery for nearly fifty years.Now, after the publicity it received in 1994, the rest of the story is familiar. In 1987, Jullien's granddaughters decided to sell various family possessions. They sold to a Montreal antique dealer, among other items, a trunk containing a series of stone tools and five of the seven pieces featured in this exhibition. A Montreal sculptor, Pierre Bolduc, bought these artifacts and, recognizing their importance, managed to locate two other figurines that were still in the possession of Jullien's only surviving family members. Thanks to these individuals, after more than a century of anonymity, these figurines have at last been put on display for all those interested in the origins of Western art.
76 Gravettian Figurines Balzi Rossi The Nun's form brings to mind a female with a quasi-religious and hieratic bearing. The enveloping cape adds an air of mystery. In a few strokes, the artist has carved an oval pebble to represent the body of a woman, whose arms merge into the outer mass of the pebble. Some of the more discernible elements are a featureless face set off by fine lines from the hair or a headdress, which itself contains very fine incisions; a demarcation of the lower jaw, which sets off the shoulders; a rounded torso and abdomen in which the breasts and navel are suggested by small nicks; and a pubis rendered by a series of lines, which end in a single line marking the crotch. Also significant are the incisions on the polished back of the pebble, which hint at the presence of a second figure. Finally, a perforation at the base of the chin indicates that the object may have been used as a pendant. Approximately 44 millimetres high, this piece is made of a type of dark green chlorite. Neither the lack of arms nor the anonymous face and the round, bald head detracts from the visual richness of the piece -- a richness due primarily to the choice of ivory (probably from a mammoth) as a medium. Closer to the "classic" model of other Venuses from Western Europe, the piece seems to have been executed in an almost mechanical manner. There is particular emphasis on the fleshy parts such as the buttocks, breasts and stomach. Also visible, on the back, is a fine line marking the spinal column. The various colors and textures on the mutilated lower legs indicate very ancient fractures as well as more recent ones. Finally, the many small longitudinal fissures visible on the figurine are characteristic of ivory when it ages. Carved on a fragment of ivory, the figurine is 67.6 millimetres high. Figurines: The Ochre LadySo called because of the ochre coating that colors its unspoiled surfaces, this figurine is typical of Gravettian statuary from Western Europe. It has the characteristic overfullness of the buttocks, stomach and breasts. The artist seems to have given special attention to the treatment of the various body parts the headdress or hair still bears traces of fine wavy lines. The demarcation of the pubis is also pronounced, which is unusual in statuettes from the Balzi Rossi and France. Finally, a perforation has been hollowed out from the back and sternum, indicating that this figurine was used as a pendant. The piece was made from a fragment of bone or ivory and shows many signs of deterioration, ancient and recent. It is approximately 75 millimetres high.“The Ochre Lady”“The Armless Lady”“The Nun”
77 Venus of Respugue France Venus of Kostienski Russia Woman, Doll or Goddess?Earth mother or mother goddess?Fertility symbol or charm?Some figurines daubed with red ochre in vulva area -- connection with menstrual cycle?Tradition of making figurines lasted 17,000 yearsLargely suppressed during the Christian period, she emerges again in the 18th century when frequent references are made to the female Earth as Mother Goddess. In 1861, in the first volume of his book Das Mutterrecht [The Mother Right] the Swiss anthropologist Johann Jacob Bachofen ( ) argued that the matriarchate or gynaeococracy found among tribal peoples, where authority in both the family and the tribe was in the hands of the women, was to be associated with the worship of a supreme female earth deity. When these ideas became meshed with Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, laid out in in his On the Origin of Species,there emerged the view that human evolution must have passed through an earlier matriarchal stage.Though controversial, this view posed no serious threat to patriarchal order. Indeed, in the context of arguments developed by the social Darwinists in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries, it nicely demonstrated the superiority and evolutionary "fitness" of patriarchy over matriarchy. The fact that matriarchy was to be found in the contemporary world only among "primitive" tribal peoples only served to substantiate this claim. It was against this background of ideas that archaeologists working at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century saw the newly discovered Paleolithic "Venus" figurines, and which permitted an interpretation of them as representations of the Mother Goddess.Although the paradigm of the "Venus" of Willendorf as Mother Goddess persists, in recent years the figurine has also been interpreted as possibly functioning in a more gynaecological context, perhaps serving as a charm or amulet of some kind for women in connection with fertility. At the time of its discovery, the statuette showed traces of red ochre pigment, which has been thought to symbolize, or serve as a surrogate of, the menstrual blood of women as a life-giving agent, as is the case in later traditions. In Ancient Mesopotamia, for example, the Sumerian goddess Aruru (another name or aspect of the mother-goddess Ninhursag, a goddess of birth and the Mother of All Children), taught women how to make a conception charm by forming a clay doll and smearing it with menstrual blood. There is also ample anthropological evidence from the historical period for systems of symbols centered on blood that linked the menstrual blood of women and the blood spilled by both game animals and, periodically, by the male hunters. This connection between menstruation and the hunt may have involved women in magic ritual intended to ensure success. If the "Venus" of Willendorf was made to function within this sort of context, it would place the figurine emphatically within the sphere of the female. This would also increase the possibility that it was carved not by a man, but by a woman.Venus of Respugue FranceVenus of Kostienski Russia
78 Venus of Laussel 20,000-18,000 bce Left hand rests on pregnant belly Right hand holds a horn marked with 13 lines: 13 lunar months in a year.
79 Bowmen and Deer, Cliff Painting Los Caballos, Spain,10,000-9000 BC MESOLITHIC PERIODBowmen and Deer Cliff Painting Los Caballos, Spain Probably Mesolithic, 10, BCBowmen and Deer, Cliff Painting Los Caballos, Spain,10, BC