Friday, October 18, 2013

Hot Links

A systematic study of stenciled hand prints in European Upper Paleolithic cave art (like in the picture above) indicates that most of them were likely made by women. This comes as a surprise as most have assumed that this rock art was associated with hunting magic and was executed by men. Dale Guthrie call your office.

A seven year-old boy discovered a dugout canoe in a lake bed in Ocala, Florida while taking a scuba lesson. It hasn't been radiocarbon dated yet, but the fact that the interior of the canoe had been hollowed out by burning might indicate that it is prehistoric. Finds of canoes sunk in lakebed and riverbed sediments aren't all that unusual in the Southeast. I saw one in a museum in Arkansas last month. I recall an article in American Antiquity a few years ago that told of around 30 or so canoes that had been found in a systematic search of a lakebed, also in Florida. If I remember correctly, some of those were almost 2,000 years old.

Archaeologists in Greece have found evidence of wine production that dates to 6,000 years ago and is believed to be the earliest evidence for wine making in Europe.

A researcher working in the Dragoon and Peloncillo Mountains of Arizona, has found caches of Apache artifacts in some rockshelters there. Radiocarbon assays from some of these have given dates from around AD 1450, showing that the Apache had migrated into that area much earlier than previously thought. Steve and I just had a discussion on the dating of the Navajo/Apache migration last week.


Anonymous said...

The "conclusions" arrived at regarding the handprints being female in that study I find somewhat aggravating--seems more like a typical "scientific" effort to get attention rather than anything conclusive. In the article the researchers complain about past researchers making "assumptions", but then they proceed to make plenty of assumptions themselves. For one, they just decide because women made painted handprints on the cave walls, that they automatically were participating in the actual hunting--how did they come to that conclusion? Also, how do they know for sure that the handprints ARE women's? I wouldn't find it unusual or unlikely that some influential(and talented!) artistic "medicine women" put some of those prints up there, but how do they know for sure they are not smaller men's prints? Young teenage male prints?(I could also see putting your prints up in these cave paintings being a male rite of passage, from youngster to adult sort of ceremony)--despite the intriguing nature of all this, there is just no way they can KNOW FOR SURE any of this stuff, and make such definite CONCLUSIONS as they have. Their conclusions are just as much assumptions as previous researchers. I find their assumptions very interesting, but I really dislike how some researchers tend to feel they have to discredit, bully, and bullshit to get attention on THEIR ideas. Next they'll be claiming that the little stone "venus" sculptures are NOT representing a woman/goddess, but a really obese, castrated male, and allude that it is another CONCLUSION!....L.B.

Moro Rogers said...

It seems like any number of things could have happened with those paintings, and we'll never know.

Anonymous said...

The hand prints in this painting are very similar to handprints left on rocks and in caves by traditional Australian Aboriginal peoples. One such method of doing this was to chew on certain flowers, gradually adding sips of water until all the solid material is dissolved by the enzymes in the saliva before spraying the liquid from the mouth in a fine spray. As an Australian primary school teacher, I once decked my 12 year-old students in garbage-bag aprons, gave them a food equivalent (purple cabbage leaves) and let students try this. The result was purple chins, purple teeth, purple arms but very few discernible hand prints on out paper-clad wall. It was, however, a fun day!

The students learnt a very good lesson about the skill of the artists.
Kathy W, Sydney Australia.

Anonymous said...

In Gary Synder's book Back on the Fire, he wrote of seeing the cave art in southeast Europe: " The hunting magic theory, which holds that the paintings were to increase the hunt,is contradicted by the fact that the majority of the animal representations are of wild horses, which were not a big food item, and the animals most commonly consumed, red deer and reindeer, are depicted in small number.The horse was not yet domesticated so why this fascination with wild horses? My wife, Carole,suggests that maybe the artists were a guild of teenage girls."