Monday, October 17, 2011

Archeological Discovery In African Cave Shows that People Have ALWAYS Made Art

Science/AAAS ___This abalone shell was found with ocher and a grinding stone. The iron oxide was used as
a pigment to paint bodies and walls, as well as to thicken glue.
This fascinating article on the NPR website sheds light on how basic the impulse to make art is. Whether one is grinding ochre in an abalone shell or making a digital image using the likes of GIMP, ArtRage, and PhotoShop, there are important commonalities in the spirt and processes of the effort. Understanding those commonalities is important for students and teachers, alike. Well worth at least a short, interactive discussion!

"Apparently one of the earliest human instincts was to paint things, including bodies and cave walls. That's the conclusion from scientists who have discovered something remarkable in a South African cave — a tool kit for making paint. It looks to be the oldest evidence of paint-making.
Over in southern Africa 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was pretty new on the scene. A favorite hangout was a cave named Blombos near the Southern ocean.
Archaeologists like Christopher Henshilwood have spent decades finding stuff there that our ancestors left behind. Recently, Henshilwood uncovered two abalone shells with ocher ground into the shell. "Above and below each shell and to the side of each shell was a complete kit that was used for producing a pigmented mixture," he says.
In addition to the shells were stone flakes, grinding stones and bits of bone with reddish ocher on them. Ocher is a kind of iron oxide dug from the ground that early humans used as a pigment and to thicken glue..."

Read the full article at its source:

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