Earliest cave art was erotica, say anthropologists

A block of limestone in southwestern France is adorned with what anthropologists believe are engravings of female genitalia dating back 37,000 years. The ceiling piece containing the proto-pr0n (pictured) was discovered in 2007 at Abri Castanet, an archaeological site that contains some of the earliest examples of primitive art.

New York University anthropologist Randall White, one of the researchers working on the project, said the works were some the oldest evidence of any kind of graphic imagery. Reporting his findings in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, White noted that the drawings include what appear to be images of the female vulva, illustrated by circles with small slits on one side. ”You see this again and again and again. There are also very simple images, in profile, of animals, including horses and lion-like big cats.”

White believes 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,” he said. “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 work is less sophisticated than the well known paintings of animals found in France’s Grotte Chauvet, believed to be between 30,000 and 36,000 years old. The engravings and paintings at Abri Castanet are rougher and more primitive in style and were likely created by everyday people, White believes. “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,” he explained.

Although the artworks are stylistically different, White and his fellow researchers 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.

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Neanderthals’ Last Hurrah Surprisingly Sophisticated
Neanderthal innovation surprises archaeologists
Modern humans healthier thanks to Neanderthal nookie

Source: National Academy of Sciences

, ,

Comments are closed.
LaTOUCHE ST. - ANCHORAGE ALASKA STREET SIGN - 8"×30" MAN CAVE WALL ART - VINTAGE
$24.99 LaTOUCHE ST. - ANCHORAGE ALASKA STREET SIGN - 8
E. 26th AVE. - ANCHORAGE ALASKA STREET SIGN - 8"×24" MAN CAVE WALL ART - VINTAGE
$24.99 E. 26th AVE. - ANCHORAGE ALASKA STREET SIGN - 8
Pair of 1965 Ford Mustang 12" x 9" Matted Picture & Advertisement Man Cave Art
$4.99 Pair of 1965 Ford Mustang 12
VINTAGE ORIGINAL 1955 SOUVENIR "GRANTS PASS" CAVE MAN OREGON TRAVEL DECAL ART
$28.95 VINTAGE ORIGINAL 1955 SOUVENIR
BIRCHWOOD LOOP RD. - AUTHENTIC CHUGIAK ALASKA STREET SIGN - 8"×42" MAN CAVE ART
$35.99 BIRCHWOOD LOOP RD. - AUTHENTIC CHUGIAK ALASKA STREET SIGN - 8

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes