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    World's first artwork found in Africa

    World's first artwork found in Africa
    James Meek, The Guardian
    11 January 2002, http://www.guardian.co.uk/internatio...630872,00.html

    Two tiny pieces of engraved ochre are the oldest works of art ever discovered, scientists say, showing the artist in mankind was awakened, in Africa at least 77,000 years ago.

    Found in Blombos Cave in South Africa, the pieces are carved with a pattern of crossed lines, showing that humans had a capacity for abstract thought, and use of symbols, tens of thousands of years before they spread from Africa to Europe. They also show that, some 4,000 generations ago, the African ancestors of all present-day humans had acquired grammatical speech.

    "This is an abstract pattern, a symbol which stands for something we don't understand," said Christopher Henshilwood, of Cape Town University, who leads a project to investigate Blombos Cave.

    The ochre artefacts, a few centimetres long, were found in 1999 and 2000, but analysis and dating is first published today in the journal Science. Dr. Henshilwood said the patterns were similar to abstract paintings found alongside cave paintings in Europe. But those were much more recent. "They would have needed language - in this case, modern, syntactic language - to have been able to explain to other people in the cave what the meaning of these pieces was.

    "Here we have a good indication of an ability to think in the abstract, to think in terms of the past, the present and the future, and that's one of the hallmarks of modern behaviour. People were able to plan."

    Anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa about 150,000 years ago - initially a group of perhaps as few as 10,000 who would go on to populate the planet, displacing Neanderthals. But it has been disputed just when Homo sapiens, so close to us in appearance, began to show the characteristic patterns of behaviour - art, language, planning, flexible organisation - which made them human. One camp argues this began with relative suddenness 40-50,000 years ago, when Africa's stone age was already old and the colonization of Europe had already begun. Others maintain modern behaviour emerged gradually, much earlier. They have not had good evidence until now.

    Use of fire and simple tools is known to go back much earlier, but scientists do not consider this as "modern". Dr. Henshilwood was joined in investigating the artefacts by an international team, including scientists from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences in Aberystwyth, whose work was crucial to dating the engravings.

    It is not known what their significance was. "Many have made a connection between the deep red of ochre and the blood of menstruation, of puberty, but that's really in the dark realm. We don't know," said Dr. Henshilwood.

    #2
    Nadia:
    It is stories like these that should remind us that we all (Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Asian, white, black, brown, etc) are brothers and sisters by blood.

    It is only our pig-headed opinions that make us enemies and break the bonds of our common ancestry.

    Thanks for the reminder. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif
    "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by myvoice:
      Nadia: It is stories like these that should remind us that we all (Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Asian, white, black, brown, etc) are brothers and sisters by blood.

      It is only our pig-headed opinions that make us enemies and break the bonds of our common ancestry.

      Thanks for the reminder. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif
      Well stated, MyVoice. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/ok.gif
      Thank you. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif

      ------------------
      ...for without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction {Holy Quran XIII.28}

      [This message has been edited by Nadia_H (edited January 11, 2002).]

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Nadia_H:
        Nadia, looking at the picture again made me realize we are paying a lot of money for very little success.

        My doodles are no artwork, and that is exactly what this so-called "art" is - some straight lines.

        It really amaze me that people with intellect accept the nonsense some people can dish up because he is a so-called "expert".

        I mean....

        This is an abstract pattern, a symbol which stands for something we don't understand

        Oh yeah, maybe not you, Doctor... http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/rolleyes.gif

        They would have needed language - in this case, modern, syntactic language - to have been able to explain to other people in the cave what the meaning of these pieces was

        Why would anyone want to describe his doodles? http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/hoonh.gif

        Here we have a good indication of an ability to think in the abstract, to think in terms of the past, the present and the future, and that's one of the hallmarks of modern behaviour. People were able to plan

        Aah, buldust man... http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/mad3.gif

        Many have made a connection between the deep red of ochre and the blood of menstruation, of puberty, but that's really in the dark realm. We don't know.

        Theorizing, and building castels in the air!

        No, really, this just again prove that these people wanting to prove that humans descended from the apes and such has absolutely NO scientific foundation at all for their premisses.

        BTW, http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/flower2.gif for Nadia for not getting cross with me about above piece.

        [This message has been edited by The Old Man (edited January 12, 2002).]

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for posting this topic Nadia. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif

          I am transferring this thread to Career and Academics.

          Comment


            #6
            thats art?

            Comment


              #7
              BTW, http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/flower2.gif for Nadia for not getting cross with me about above piece.
              NO worries, The Old Man, it will take a great deal more than that to make me angry with you. You don't have to worry about offending me, I would MUCH rather prefer one's honest opinions.

              My doodles are no artwork, and that is exactly what this so-called "art" is - some straight lines.
              Perhaps, from the perspective of Christopher Henshilwood and his team, the significance of this artwork lies in the fact that, at that particular time in history, humans had not really 'evolved' (sorry, I know you hate this wordhttp://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/biggrin.gif) the necessary brain-size in order to make abstract patterns. Perhaps to them it is significant because similar artwork had been discovered in Europe (I think particularly in some caves in France), but not in Africa up until the discovery of this. This refutes the claims by some people that "modern" (depending upon one's definition, I suppose!) artwork did not originate in Europe but was in fact in existence for quite some time.

              Aah, buldust man...
              http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif That's a cute word, "buldust". What does it mean?

              Theorizing, and building castels in the air!
              True, perhaps they are... :-/

              No, really, this just again prove that these people wanting to prove that humans descended from the apes and such has absolutely NO scientific foundation at all for their premisses.
              This reminds me of the time I was reading some posts of yours in the Religion forum where you were quite against the entire evolutionary theory. Sorry if this article offended you, I just found it interesting from a historical-anthropological point of view. I am not one inclined towards believing the theory of evolution myself, but just thought I would post the article at any rate. Sorry if I offended you http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/flower1.gif http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/flower1.gif

              [This message has been edited by Nadia_H (edited January 14, 2002).]

              Comment


                #8
                who-me and the old man

                Would you guys consider this intelligence/art if it was a chimp making those lines.

                Thats the light the historians see it in.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Nadia_H

                  'evolved' (sorry, I know you hate this word

                  I don't hate the word. http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif The earth and plants have certainly evolved, as did humans. I just have a problem when this word is used to negate a Higher Authority's input on things.

                  That's a cute word, "buldust". What does it mean?

                  Rather not say http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/redface.gif

                  Sorry if this article offended you, I just found it interesting from a historical-anthropological point of view.

                  I have an extremely thick skin and don't offend easily. If I don't like an article, I ignore it. Your article was interesting though (maybe I was just grumpish). I actually only read the full report in the newspapers the next day - just again prove how quickly information can spread on the internet.

                  hmcq:

                  No, I would still not consider it atr/intelligence otherwise when an insect walks in a straight line it can also be construed as art/intelligence http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif

                  If the "abstract" art consisted of circles (much more difficult to construct) together with intricate triangles, squares etc, etc, etc, I might consider it as an "abstract" thought process.

                  For it to mean intelligence and purpose (sorry but I don't have a feel for "abstract' art), some thought or idea must have been implemented. Remember, if this was made by semi-humans (or whatever you want to call them), they most probably had language (and the inclination to communicate ideas to others in a non-verbal contend) 5 fingers and the ability to use these in simple drawings.

                  Some straight lines is what my dog makes on a bone....

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