Monday, May 14, 2012

Ancient Wall Art

I've blogged about ancient rock art depicting aliens and other interesting characters, but the latest discovery is something funny I didn't expect. After having laughs about what could be labeled "early porn", a male friend, who has traveled throughout Europe, told me that depictions of human genitalia are often found on ancient stone walls and ceilings, denoting a brothel. I guess prostitution is the oldest profession. We certainly are obsessed with sex ... And what's with the animal images? It doesn't look like any woman's parts I know. Perhaps a male indentation ... Aliens? Which way is up? :)

Female sex organs the focus of oldest known cave art   MSNBC - May14, 2012
Multiple engraved and painted images of female sexual organs, animals and geometric figures discovered in southern France are believed to be the first known wall art. Radiocarbon dating of the engravings, described in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that the art was created 37,000 years ago. This makes them slightly older than the world's earliest known cave art, found in Chauvet Cave, southeastern France.

Female Genitalia Carvings Are Europe's Oldest Rock Art   Live Science - May14, 2012
The oldest rock art ever found in Europe reveals an interest in the female form - and the type of decor that the first Europeans preferred for their living spaces. The new discovery, uncovered at a site called Abri Castanet in France, consists mainly of circular carvings most likely meant to represent the vulva. The carvings were etched into the ceiling of a now-collapsed rock shelter about 37,000 years ago. The artists who created this ceiling decor were the first humans in Europe, a group called the Aurignicians. Arriving from Africa, they would replace the Neanderthals in Eurasia.

Anthropologists Discover Earliest Form of Wall Art   Science Daily - May14, 2012
Anthropologists working in southern France have determined that a 1.5 metric ton block of engraved limestone constitutes the earliest evidence of wall art. Their research, reported in the most recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the piece to be approximately 37,000 years old and offers rich evidence of the role art played in the daily lives of Early Aurignacian humans. The research team, composed of more than a dozen scientists from American and European universities and research institutions, has been excavating at the site of the discovery -- Abri Castanet -- for the past 15 years. Abri Castanet and its sister site Abri Blanchard have long been recognized as being among the oldest sites in Eurasia bearing artifacts of human symbolism. Hundreds of personal ornaments have been discovered, including pierced animal teeth, pierced shells, ivory and soapstone beads, engravings, and paintings on limestone slabs.