In southwestern France, an international group of anthropologists have uncovered ancient engravings that date back 38,000 years. With this finding, anthropologists believe that these markings are some of the earliest known graphics to be found in the area known as Western Eurasia. These images offer scientists a chance to get insights into how modern humans lived during this period of time.
Ancient engravings found in France date back 38,000 years
According to the New York University (NYU), the discovery of these ancient engravings, in a rockshelter in southwestern France, will help to shed some light on both ornamentation found across Europe during that time period, as well as the regional patternings of art. This is a period of time when the first modern humans were dispersing both northward and westward across Europe upon entering the continent, according to Randall White, an anthropologist from NYU who helped to lead the excavation in the Vézère Valley of France that uncovered these engravings.
The journal, Quaternary International, posted the findings that seemed to center on a specific culture of the modern human’s, the Aurignacian culture. This particular culture existed between 43,000 and 33,000 years ago, approximately. Their art work is what some anthropologists consider to be like a window into the minds and lives of those who initially made the engravings. It is also a look at the societies that these modern humans created.
At one of the French sites where these graphics were found, Abri Blanchard, one of the slabs that had previously been uncovered bore complex images of an animal known as aurochs. Aurochs are also known as wild cows and in the images they were surrounded by rows of dots.
The excavation of the Abri Blanchard site began in the early 20th Century, with Randall White and his team doing their own methodical excavation as of 2011. At the time, they were exploring the area with its remaining deposits and made their big discovery in 2012.
Based on the ancient engravings uncovered, as well as previous knowledge of the modern humans who lived at the time, Randall White explained that these people arrived from Africa and found themselves settling into Central and Western Europe. They all showed a “broad commonality” in terms of their graphic expressions, in which “more regionalized characteristics stand out.” He also said that these patterns fit into the societal geography markers which look at both one’s personal ornamentation, as well as art, as types of markers regarding the social identity of individuals, groups and even entire regions of people. As a whole, this discovery allows anthropologists a chance to get a better idea as to the lives that the modern humans lived 38,000 years ago.
By Dorothea James
Musée national de Préhistoire collections – photo MNP – Ph. Jugie
Source:: Google Science]]>