Sunday, December 7, 2014

The OGs

Recently archaeologists have found a shell etched with absract markings. This work, simple as it is, is pretty momentous. It's been dated at about 500,000 years old, much older than anatomically modern humans, and it's been attributed to homo erectus.

Artworks and art-like works have been found at Neanderthal sites, but when in doubt paleoanthropologists have tended to credit the work to modern homo sapiens regardless. A painting found on Gibraltar may help to make the case for symbolic thinking in Neanderthals, but this homo erectus artifact could change the whole ground of the argument. If the roots of art, or at least the thinking that can lead to it, were present in our common ancestor, then it almost certainly found expression in both races, and probably others besides.

Also homo erectus won't just be known anymore as targets for boner jokes.


susan said...

The find is pretty exciting news, I agree, although I've never doubted we've been creative beings right from the beginning.

Now I'm waiting for them to find the artworks made by crows.

I don't mind typing in the numbers, but I wonder why you've added comment security.

Ben said...

One thing that's interesting about Deep History, as it's sometimes known, is how that creativity has been expressed in the different eras.

Crows? I certainly wouldn't put it past them, whether it's acknowledged or not.

Yeah, that kind of just happened. I'll try undoing it with those instructions you gave me later on.