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Re: 64,000 year Neanderthal Cave Art
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An interesting topic.

Always worth bearing in mind that for the vast majority time since c.200 thousand years ago (ie earliest Homo s. s. linage) and prior to the Late Pleistocene/Holocene, we have no physical evidence for art among Homo sapiens sapiens either...

...this large fact does nothing to speak to the potential/latency for 'art' among other late Homo groups :/

The presence of very skillfully made symmetrical handaxes from 500+ thousand years ago has long been considered as arguably 'art' - at least in terms of the importance of pleasing object-forms, not simply functional necessity.

The ability to make music - specifically harmonized singing has been suggested as possibly a pre-cursor to formal language. The debate is open on that issue and origins.

Singing, story-telling, dancing and music, and love making can all be seen as associated with wider complex including 'language', and the passing on of knowledge, practices, and traditions . There are clear evolutionary benefits for this kind of social interaction, especially in terms of complex childhood development. Likely these positive 'feedbacks' continually influenced all Homo species and possibly ancestral Australopithecus before them.

Where does art start and end when we consider singing?

Personally I think it safe to start assuming 'craft' and 'decorative' abilities from the late Homo erctus-types, affiliates and descendants onward; including Sapiens, Neanderthal and Denovisian - all had small flint tools for possible 'decorative' work.

To Summarize:
Painted and carved rocks (which actually survive) are only a small sub-set of 'art' in hunter-gather life-styles - we can assume much 'care-fully crafted' material, never mind social practices like singing, simply do not survive archaeologically.

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Posted by CR
12th March 2018ce

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