It should be no surprise that early humans decorated their surroundings with symbols of fertility, so the discovery that the oldest rock art ever found in Europe depicts a vulva isn’t exactly making waves. But the discover is more than noteworthy consider it is reputedly “the oldest evidence of any kind of graphic imagery.”
Live Science reports:
The new discovery, uncovered at a site called Abri Castanet in France, consists mainly of circular carvings most likely meant to represent the vulva. The carvings were etched into the ceiling of a now-collapsed rock shelter about 37,000 years ago, researchers reported Monday (May 14) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Who were these early artists? They were a group called the Aurignicians, a group from Africa that lived roughtly 45,000 to 35,000 years ago and eventually replace the Neanderthals.
The Christian Science Monitor explains how this discovery on the underside of a 1.5 ton limestone slab is very different than the cave paintings often associated with prehistoric human art:
The art is slightly older than the previous underground record-holders, adorning the walls of a cave known as Grotte Chauvet in southeastern France. But that art — drawings of horses, cave lions, rhino, and other animals — appears deep inside what would have been a lightly trafficked cave.
The article explains how the discovery was made and how unusual the life of an archeologist must be:
“The colleague standing next to me said: Oh [expletive]! A vulva!” [New York University anthropologist Randall] White recalls when the etched representation came into view. “The chills just went up and down because we were the first people to have found one of these things since the 1920s.”
Previously we had reported that the oldest known paintings were discovered in a Spanish cave and were reputedly painted by Neanderthals. It is believed those paintings, which depicted what archeologists described as seals, where 42,300 to 43,500 years old.
If you’re interested in reading the scientific paper, here’s the link: Randall White et al, “Context and dating of Aurignacian vulvar representations from Abri Castanet, France,” PNAS 2012 ; published ahead of print May 14, 2012,doi:10.1073/pnas.1119663109 (PPV)
With Moonage Daydream, director Brett Morgen sought to let Bowie’s music and philosophy hit in a whole new way, immersing audiences in an IMAX experience.
The union says 60% of employees at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh make less than $15 an hour.
Funding options at UB include full-tuition scholarships for MFA students, the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program, and additional opportunities for MA students.
The floor mosaic is part of a 50-dwelling Roman villa built in the second century on a cliff in Kent that is in danger of falling into the sea.
Members of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys joined a group of religious parents gathered outside Memphis’s Museum of Science & History.
This exhibition presents new commissions by Bay Area artists Sadie Barnette, Angela Hennessy, Clare Rojas, and Zio Ziegler alongside work from the McEvoy Family Collection.
The law will apply only in “rare cases,” one expert says, but nevertheless signals a shift from past legal restrictions.
Whatever else Mire Lee’s Carriers is about, it seems to me that has to do with sending you back into yourself, which is not necessarily a soothing place.
Open to scholars, artists, curators, and writers, this new fellowship embraces the interdisciplinary spirit of a pioneering fiber artist and comes with a $30,000 stipend.
It’s been 55 years since Warhol hired a lookalike to prank students at the University of Utah. What lessons on celebrity and capitalist consumption did his hoax reveal?
Julia Guez knows that her poetry can make a “real ask” of readers, with its peculiar vocabulary and indeterminate tendencies, and that gives her hope.
From ancient times to the present day, join us as we pay tribute to these otter-ly charismatic creatures in various visual media.