The Cave and the Cathedral: How a Real-Life Indiana Jones and a Renegade Scholar Decoded the Ancient Art of Man
Amir D. Aczel
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What Are The Ancients Trying To Tell Us?
"Why would the Cro-Magnon hunter-gatherers of Europe expend so much time and effort to penetrate into deep, dark, and dangerous caverns, where they might encounter cave bears and lions or get lost and die, aided only by the dim glow of animal fat–burning stone candles, often crawling on all fours for distances of up to a mile or more underground . . . to paint amazing, haunting images of animals?"
—From The Cave and the Cathedral
Join researcher and scientist Amir D. Aczel on a time-traveling journey through the past and discover what the ancient caves of France and Spain may reveal about the origin of language, art, and human thought as he illuminates one of the greatest mysteries in anthropology.
"A well-researched and highly readable exploration of one of the most spectacular manifestations of the unique human creative spirit–and one of its most intriguing mysteries."
—Ian Tattersall, Curator, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, and author of The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution
attention of Amédée Lemozi, the priest of Cabrerets. Lemozi, who was also an amateur prehistorian, began to study this curious, fascinating art, and he involved the entire village in the findings. The village of Cabrerets took pride in the cave it owned and in 1926 opened it to the public. To this day, tourism to the cave of Pech Merle is a brisk industry, owned and operated by Cabrerets and bringing in hundreds of visitors every day. But the number of people allowed into the cave daily is
different from the mysterious, schematic, and ambiguous rare “humanoid” images found in deep caves. It is obvious that Paleolithic artists avoided making human depictions in cave art as much as possible. Was this perhaps a manifestation of a religious rule? Women’s images outside deep caves took other forms as well. Figurines of women’s heads, showing facial features and finely coiffed hair, have turned up in geographically faraway places throughout the European continent. Among these are the
achievements. After Clottes’s inspecting so many caves filled with rich, meaningful art, is his answer that it was all created because of shamanism a satisfying one? Would Clottes’s theory gain scientific verification? Perhaps the two human figures dressed as animals had something to do with the practice, but to say that all of this amazing artistic activity was merely a by-product of shamanism debases the wonderful art. The theory also sounds too simple and perhaps naive. The scientific
the same age as Stonehenge. Neolithic people were interested in architecture—not only monuments, but the first houses were also built during this era—and later in pottery. Their focus was food production, and for that purpose they needed a calendar. This was the end of the old way of life, the Paleolithic with its cave art, and the beginning of a new one with different interests and concerns. Rappenglueck was not the first person to look for evidence of an ancient calendar in the signs found in
simply the how of Paleolithic cave art and signs. They tried to see beyond the obvious and to glimpse some truth about the purpose of the art and the signs. But they were followed by a generation of French taxonomists who had little vision or perception. It is unfortunate that no expert has come forth who could further pursue the great work begun by these two intellectual giants of French prehistory. Another opposing view emerged in 1975, when a British scientist, Anthony Stevens, used a