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 Women, the original artists

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Women, the original artists   Thu 02 Jan 2014, 14:36

From the BBC's 2013 archaeological news bulletins summary:

"A recent study of Palaeolithic hand stencils painted on the walls of caves in Spain and France has suggested that the majority of them were made by women.

By comparing the dimensions of the 20-40,000 year old hands to modern male and female examples, the genders of the artists were identified.

This innovative research overturns the assumption that the paintings - usually associated with hunting scenes - were the domain of men, and gives us a tangible connection with women in the Stone Age."




I am not suggesting that there should be anything surprising about this "news" but it does mean that yet another pictorial record in the ould memory bank lovingly stored there since a first encounter with the Ladybird Book of The Stone Age must be jettisoned. Or maybe I should just believe that women in those days sported lovely beards.

EDIT: Found the pic from Ladybird's "Stone Age Man in Britain" (no mention of Stone Age Woman in those days ...)


EDIT 2: Is that a swastika over mention of Torquay ???? Wasn't in my copy!


Last edited by nordmann on Thu 02 Jan 2014, 16:29; edited 3 times in total
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Women, the original artists   Thu 02 Jan 2014, 15:13

I'm not really surprised ... in my experience it's always the women that get to do the fun stuff like making the stencils and drawing little animals, while the poor man is perched ten feet up on a rickety ladder, with neck ache and paint in his eyes, struggling to cover 40 sq yards of ceiling with a non-drying, super-drip ochre emulsion ... And then she says: "You've missed a bit - just over there".
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PostSubject: Re: Women, the original artists   Thu 02 Jan 2014, 15:31

I'm less than convinced that the dimensions of the hands are proof conclusive. Strongly indicative maybe, but I wouldn't convict on that basis.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Women, the original artists   Thu 02 Jan 2014, 15:50

Hmmm, I'm rather keener on the suggestion that many, if not most, of the hand prints are those of adolescents and that the caves were the venues for initiation ceremonies.

MM, I'll thank you not to be so stereotypical. In my experience it's the women who do the decorating these days. My husband, during our entire marriage, painted half of one wall; after he and the friend who was assisting him had drunk most of a bottle of whisky, he fell off the ladder.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Women, the original artists   Thu 02 Jan 2014, 16:27

I remember reading about the find a couple of months ago and wasn't too surprised. In fact I couldn't think why it was automatically presumed that the artists had to be men simply because cave depictions were usually of animals.

Women did participate in hunts, possibly not with the actual killing but women would have helped with the butchering and the carrying of the meat and hides. And a successful hunt would have been equally important to women, if not more so. Women being the ones who did the food preparation as well as bear and care for the children.
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PostSubject: Re: Women, the original artists   Thu 02 Jan 2014, 16:40

Most of these prints do look like women's, or even childrens as ferval suggests.




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PostSubject: Re: Women, the original artists   Fri 03 Jan 2014, 11:04

Another cave with wonderful prehistoric art and within close proximity to Lascaux? Well according to a local woman who claims that her husband found another cave in the 1960s, and kept it secret because he didn't want the hassle.

http://www.thelocal.fr/20140102/french-town-probes-new-cave-paintings-mystery
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