Talk:Art of the Upper Paleolithic

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Link required[edit]

"Africa "The earliest undisputed African rock art dates back about 10,000 years, apparently originating in the Nile Valley and spread as far west as Mali." Apparent to whom? What is the source? Is the direction of the spread certain? 83.84.100.133 (talk) 17:24, 18 June 2018 (UTC)


"controversially dated", "contentious dates"[edit]

We should not be interested in the earliest possible dates ever suggested. This is selection bias. We might as well focus on the latest possible dates ever suggested and report these as "contentious", and the article would look completely different. What we need to report first and foremost is the mainstream estimate. After that, it is still possible to quote minority opinions. --dab (𒁳) 11:36, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Also, we can easily do an article on prehistoric African rock art, but this article should focus on the Paleolithic proper. Early rock art found in Algeria, Tanzania etc. dated to about 5000 years ago distracts from the main topic, especially if it is wedged between Paleolithic examples without making clear the difference in age. Cut from the article:


Noted sites containing early art, dated to about 5,200 years ago, include Tassili n'Ajjer in southern Algeria, Tadrart Acacus in Libya (A Unesco World Heritage site), and the Tibesti Mountains in northern Chad.[1]

The rock paintings at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa are probably more recent than 1,000 years ago, but small engraved stones were found within the deposit, mainly from the Later Stone Age sequence where they date back some 10,500 years.

Rock art in Tanzania apparently dates to 3,500 BP and later.[1]

Most of East African rock art is found on a plateau between the Zambezi River and the Great Rift Valley. Running from southern Kenya and Uganda in the north, through Tanzania to Zambia and Malawi in the south, the rock art in this area is mostly paintings, although some engravings are found. Most of the painting is of figures of animals and people, with some geometric shapes. Red paintings in Tanzania have been extensively studied, by the Leakeys (Mary and Louis) among others. [2]

White paintings in Zambia appear to date from about 2,000 years ago, with the arrival of Bantu speakers in the area, an observation confirmed by oral history of modern tribes in the area.


--dab (𒁳) 12:03, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Coulson, pp. 150–155
  2. ^ Coulson, 132-140.

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oldest hand stencils, sulawesi[edit]

The earliest dated image from Maros, with a minimum age of 39.9 kyr, is now the oldest known hand stencil in the world. In addition, a painting of a babirusa (‘pig -deer’) made at least 35.4 kyr ago is among the earliest dated figurative depictions worldwide, if not the earliest one.

from: Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia, M. Aubert, A. Brumm, M. Ramli, T. Sutikna, E. W. Saptomo, B. Hakim, M. J. Morwood, G. D. van den Bergh, L. Kinsley & A. Dosseto, Nature volume 514, pages 223–227 Mr. bobby (talk) 20:30, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

You want to be careful to state "world's oldest known" instead of "world's oldest", as there can always be new discoveries. In this case, at "39.9 ka" (cite the confidence interval!!), they are of the same age (overlapping confidence intervals) as the oldest known hand stencils from the Caves of Monte Castillo, and formerly were certainly among the world's oldest known hand stencils. However, if you would deign to read the article, there is a 2018 study which has dated a hand stencil from Maltravieso (Extremadura) at c. 64 ka, so that the ones dated c. 40 ka now no longer qualify as "oldest known" even if they previously have done so. --dab (𒁳) 13:41, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

I was mistaken, the oldest hand stencil from EL Castillo is 37 ka, somewhat younger than the Sulawesi one; the oldest "art" from El Castillo, a red stippled disk, is 40 ka, i.e. overlapping intervals with the Sulawesi stencil. This doesn't affect the point that the oldest known hand stencil is now the one dated 64 ka from Extremadura.
The interesting point here isn't the difference between the numbers 37, 39.9 or 40, but the fact that very similar traditions are found in karstic caves in Iberia and in Sulawesi at virtually the same time. This strongly suggests to me that the tradition was inherited, and must have existed at least 50 ka, at the divergence of West Eurasians and Australoids. --dab (𒁳) 06:32, 30 August 2018 (UTC)