Time Travel? Or an early evolutionary quirk?
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The History Channel recently aired Werner Herzog’s 2010 documentary The Cave of Forgotten Dreams about the 32,000+ year-old drawings found deep inside.
Information about the cave -- Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc in Southern France – and Herzog’s 3-D film about it can be read at Wikipedia:
I want you look at a few of the drawings found in the cave walls:
And a flute, using diatonic tones because of the placement of the holes on the reed, was found nearby; this too, from 32,000 years ago or so:
As you can see from the images and flute-find, the Neolithic artists were hardly primitive and rather advanced, aesthetically.
One interesting (troubling?) aspect of the drawings and others like it found in other caves is the absence of drawings of plants, fish, or the environment, or the heavens, in this cave particularly -- the drawings made mostly in the deepest recesses of the cave where light was virtually non-existent or seen through minute openings for brief periods of the day.
I find that strange: the artistic lacunae – no flora, no fowl, no marine life, no moon or sun.
Some of you are familiar with Michael Moorcock’s intriguing science fiction novel, Behold the Man, wherein a man travels back in time to the time of Jesus and because of extenuating exigencies assumes the role of Jesus for his last day on Earth.
Moorcock’s man is bereft of modern technology so he has to cope within the time-frame in which he finds himself and with only the tools at his disposal.
Let’s look at those images from the cave again.
Don’t they bespeak an artist or artist from a time well beyond the Neolithic or Paleolithic eras?
Someone familiar with art and music created images and sounds out of sync with the age in which they found themselves.
Or the artists were part of a creative quirk which was bestowed upon them many years too soon it seems, only to disappear until the time of the Greeks 31,000 years later, give or take.
The film intrigues, and if seen only for its cataloguing of early art renderings, is a must- see for those of you with a yen about early man (and woman).