Archaeological finds that bear on the topic of human self-development

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Some interesting bits of archaeology news…

The oldest yet-dicovered paintings of signs/symbols in central europe have been found in southern Germany – central europe is not known for much cro-magnon era painting.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108075401.htm

Three of the new painting show double rows of red dots on limestone cobbles, […]

Ancient Penis Art

An IO9 article worth taking a look at if you are interested in archaeology and what it tells us about the evolution of mind and consciousness.

What do ancient penis decorations say about us?

Enter Spanish researchers Javier Angulo and Marcos García, who since 2003 have devoted thousands of hours to cataloguing depictions […]

The oldest human paint factory discovered in Africa – 100,000bce – the birth of art and the modern human mind

One of the topics I tend to emphasize is that the ability to think abstractly, to use signs symbols and language, is THE important human invention that led to the type of complex mind and memory systems (including the external memory systems of language, imagery, alphanumerics, writing, and now digitization) that make our […]

More on Lascaux & Geometric signs in cave art

The ancient world and it’s part in the evolution of our current kind of mind seems to be a theme for me these days. So here’s a bit more, inspired by a recent post on metafilter about the Bradshaws, rock paintings in Australia. From the excellent cave and rock art site named after those paintings, […]

Previously unpublished photos of the Lascaux cave paintings online from LIFE magazine

One of my favorite things in the world is Lascaux. This cro-magnon painted cave temple is one of the most fascinating creations of prehistory, and arguably one of the most significant discoveries in the history of religion, art, AND writing and communcations and the human brain.

So it’s always a thrill to see new Lascaux […]

Evidence of a ritual feast to honor a paleolthic shamanness.

Altho it seems like common sense that humans have used feasting ritually for a long long time, common sense can often be misleading. So it’s interesting to see what may be confirmation of a funeral feast for a shamaness in the shadowy era between the time of the great great cave paintings and the paleolithic […]

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1 year 4 months ago

From this article:

His argument is based on the fact that for more than 99 per cent of human evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherer communities surviving on our wits, leading to big-brained humans. Since the invention of agriculture and cities, however, natural selection on our intellect has effective stopped and mutations have accumulated in the critical “intelligence” genes.

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas and a clear-sighted view of important issues,” Professor Crabtree says in a provocative paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics.

“Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2,000 to 6,000 years ago,” Professor Crabtree says.

“The basis for my wager comes from new developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology that make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile,” he says.

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1 year 4 months ago

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