Were prehistoric artists ever photographed to paint their own cave paintings?

A daring hypothesis study put forward to explain the sometimes bizarre drawings of wall paintings buried at the bottom of caves: Paleolithic men had painted them in a second case. And without any hallucinogen! Explanations.

It is known that many artists produced their major works under influence Medicine. Van Gogh Soaked in absinthe, Charles Baudelaire indulged in cannabis and opium while Francis Picabia painted his psychedelic paintings duringHallucinations Because of opiates. Not to mention LSD which was all the rage in the 1950s in the artistic world.

However, the practice goes back much further. Even to prehistoric men if we are to believe Yavit Keidar, a researcher at Tel Aviv University and the author of a study published March 31 in the journal. Time and Mind: A Journal of Archeology, Consciousness, and Culture. According to his hypothesis, humans drew the pictures in Caves in the Palaeolithic period (Between 50,000 and 12,000 years) it was not in its natural state when it was created because … due to a deficiencyOxygen. To venture deeply into the caves, they had to be lit by torches which, by consuming oxygen, would cause a state ofHypoxia In the brain. Or, l ‘Hypoxia It increases production DopamineThat would drown the cave painters. ” In a state of altered consciousness and feelingtranceAnd out of the body experiences and maybe even Hallucinations “Yavit Kedar writes with his companions. These experiences would have helped them to ” Harnessing deeper levels of creativity “And the” To enter into a relationship with the universe ».

Access to “spiritual experiences”

The basis of this bold hypothesis is the issue of cave formation. During his visits to European caves, Yafit Kedar was shocked by paintings painted in almost inaccessible places. ” Why [ces hommes] Did they go in the dark, in such isolation, one mile indoors? These caves are intimidating and have narrow lanes », She says in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Then they realized that in these poorly ventilated places, they felt amazed that it caused hallucinations and helped them gain access to “spiritual experiences”. ” This could partly explain why prehistoric humans drew drawings where no one would normally see them. »Yafit Kedar’s suit.

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To support his hypothesis, Kedar and colleagues simulated the effect of torches on indoor oxygen concentrations such as those found in caves from the Palaeolithic period, and found that oxygen levels in the narrow corridors rapidly drop below 18%, the known threshold for inducing hypoxia in humans. . This may explain some of the strange drawings, whose inspiration appears to be more symbolic than symbolic. ” We usually see repeating patterns in Rock art, Which denotes a Intention to communicate Instead of a pure decoration », He confirms in the newspaper Haaretz David Wheatley, an expert in ethnography and rock art, was not involved in the study. The painting of horses, in the Chauvet Cave in France, is a good example of the succession of 21 figures.

Connect with “Caveman Spirit”

Of course, early humans had no idea the scientific explanation behind it all. Instead of their own case, they would attribute their alienation to the nature of the cave itself. ” The idea is that they entered [ndlr : dans les entrailles des grottes] Because they thought there was something, like spirits, in the wallsAvance Yavit Kedar. That is why they have so far ventured into the cave ».

The article also cites other examples from civilizations attributing magical powers to caves. Thus the inhabitants of Mesopotamia believed that upon death, the soul leaves the body and descends into the underground world through the cracks in the earth. The authors also explain that the Cherokees saw caves and crevices as gateways to another world Haaretz.

Obviously, this hypothesis does not apply to well-ventilated, wide-mouthed caves. We also can’t very much advise you not to reproduce Lascaux Cave in a poorly ventilated cellar. You just risk swooning instead of a work of art.

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