cave paintings

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Welcome to 2013, everybody. Here’s hoping the year treats us all gently.

I’m still in indolent holiday mode, so I’m easing myself back into the posting habit with a fascinating curiosity for Moving Pictures on a Friday.

Were our distant ancestors who put their marks on the walls of the Lascaux caves and elsewhere 17,000+ years ago attempting something very, very clever? Specifically, were they trying to depict motion in static images?

This little film, which separates and then connects superimposed or juxtaposed cave paintings, looks pretty convincing to me. Further details are in the short New Scientist article where I found the film, but it boils down to this: cavemen may well have been pretty sophisticated and imaginative illustrators.

Makes them feel very close, somehow; as if what was happening inside their heads really was very much like what’s happening inside ours, in the ways that matter. It’s odd snippets of insight and information like this that make history – or, in this case, prehistory – magical to me.

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