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中国岩画研究中心

Rock Art Research Association of China

 
 
 

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中国岩画研究中心始建于1992年,创始人为我国著名岩画专家陈兆复教授。中国岩画研究中心是国际岩画组织联合会的会员组织之一,主要从事中国境内岩画资料搜集整理及学术研究工作,也密切关注世界岩画研究事业的最新动态。中国岩画研究中心现任主任张亚莎教授是国际岩画组织联合会的中国代表,国际史前及原史科学协会会员。同时,也是《岩画研究》(澳大利亚)、《文学和艺术研究期刊》(美国)等国际学术期刊的评审人。张亚莎教授的主要学术研究领域为艺术史、藏族艺术和岩画。目前,中国岩画研究中心每年招收3名硕士研究生和1—2名博士研究生

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意大利国际岩画研讨会论文摘要/Abstracts of UISPP Colloquium  

2012-06-15 05:19:54|  分类: 岩画会议/Confer |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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编者按:由国际史前和原史科学协会(UISPP)主办的无文字社会智力和精神表达研讨会将于2012622日至24日在位于意大利北部阿尔卑斯山小镇卡波迪蓬特(Capo di Ponte)的卡谟诺史前研究中心(CCSP)召开。此次会议吸引了来自亚美尼亚、比利时、中国、法国、匈牙利、印度、以色列、意大利、马其顿、波兰、葡萄牙、瑞士、英国和美国14个国家的近30名学者出席。会议包括为期两天的四场研讨会和半天的岩画点考察。应国际史前和原史科学协会主席、卡谟诺史前研究中心主任埃曼纽艾尔·阿纳蒂教授(Prof. Emmanuel Anati)的邀请,中国岩画研究中心主任张亚莎教授将出席此次会议,并发表题为《古象雄鸟图腾和西藏鸟葬的盛行》的主题演讲。

Editor’s note: Hosted by the Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques (UISPP), the colloquium on “The Intellectual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-literate Societies” will convene in the Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici (CCSP), situated in northern Italy’s Capo di Ponte, an Alpine village, between 22 and 24 June, 2012, attracting some 30 participators from 14 countries, Armenia, Belgium, China, France, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, UK and USA, which will consist of two-day’s four sessions as well as half-a-day’s rock art fieldtrip. At the invitation of Prof. Emmanuel Anati, President of UISPP as well as Director of CCSP, Prof. Zhang Yasha, Director of the Rock Art Research Association of China (RARAC), will attend the colloquium, delivering an oral representation titled The Prevalence of “Bird Totem” in Ancient Zhang-Zhung and “Bird Burial” in Tibet.

 

 

Abstracts of Colloquium Papers

 

Aleksovski Dusko

ORIGINE DES EXPRESSIONS INTELLECTUELLES ET SPIRITUELLES DES SOCIETES NON-ALPHABETISE

 

Many scientists who do research in the field of rock art are asking: where does prehistoric man draw this enormous creative energy from to produce great works of art in the caves, on stones and rocks, in order to heal the sick members of his tribe, discover different ways to cure illnesses: acupuncture, acupressure...

 

One thing is certain: the main source of all the intellectual potential of man is found in the natural cosmic laws that caused the first movements in space. Natural laws transposed the creative forces of nature, in the wide horizons of the human brain. Conscious and subconscious intelligence that comes from nature, organizes, assists, informs and warns man with symbols manifested in different ways. The role of shamans in this case is undisputed.

 

The cosmic mind has caused and accelerated the development of the intellectual capacity of man, which made prehistoric man capable of creating great works of art (paintings and engravings) (René-Yves Hervé 2008).

 

Emmanuel Anati

ON THE ORIGINS OF WRITING

 

Research on the decoding of prehistoric art has led to a structural analysis of cognitive-logical expressions of the oldest known figurative art. The typological-grammatical and syntactic-associative system show, already thirty thousand years ago, the same grammatical structure and syntax of writing that allow us to reconstruct the elementary roots of its formation. This paper examines the cognitive process that led to the invention of writing and defines recurring constants of memorization and associative synthesis that are present in the human mind at the global level. Specific examples of decoding prehistoric art (which is more than 30,000 years old) challenge the traditional view about the beginning of writing (5,000 ago) and show the presence of phenomena of graphic communication that convey complex ideas, sensations and feelings, from the primordial origins of visual art. The question arises as to whether such methods of visual transmission may or may not be considered writing.

 

Pier Luigi Bolmida

GLI “ORANTI GRANDI MANI” IN PROSPETTIVA FILOGENETICA

 

Through his work, the Author presents, in collaboration with Professor Umberto Sansoni, some reflections taken from clinical psychology concerning one of the most widespread and universal phenomena present in world rock art: commonly referred to as “Large-Handed Worshiper”. Such considerations will not be posed as an attempt to interpret the observed phenomenon, but rather as a set of information provided with the idea of contributing to the interdisciplinary cooperation between archeologists and rock art specialists. With this end in mind, the Author will examine the following: 1° shamanism as the intersection between rock art and clinical psychology; 2° the meaning and the importance at a deep intrapsychic level of anatomical and physiological elements participating in rock art pictographs examined (hands and feet); 3° the intrinsic qualities of the typical and repeated posture that characterizes the expression vehiculated by the images of the “Large-Handed Worshiper”; 4° The semiological value of the communication characterizing the rock art representations analyzed.

 

Cristina Cassese

LA PERFORMANCE IN AFRICA OCCIDENTALE: DANZA, MUSICA E TEATRO FRA TRADIZIONE E CONTEMPORANEIT?. SUGGESTIONI E MODELLI: IL PRINCIPIO DI JO-HA-KYU.

 

One of the more established oral traditions in West Africa is that of the Griot and Griottes (male and female storytellers). The Griot are real performers who, through the wise use of detailed narrative, gesture, music and singing, have a social and cultural role of immense value to such a degree that they are called “The Masters of the Word.” They not only hold the collective memory of a particular ethnic group, but they lead its transformation by sharing of knowledge and cultural practices typical of the group.

 

In fact, in many traditional cultures, what is usually referred to as “theatre” is actually a combination of oral, protosemic, choral, and musical elements are mixed and offered as a single coherent performance that features a precise, defined form known in classical Japanese theatre as "Jo-ha-kyu".

 

The project has as its objective to investigate this issue and encourage a debate on the creative process and the social dynamics underlying it.

 

Fernando Coimbra

THE ASTRONOMICAL ORIGINS OF THE SWASTIKA MOTIF

 

The swastika is one of the oldest symbols of Mankind, going back at least to the VII millenium BC. It appears on many diverse prehistoric archaeological remains like rock art and pottery, among other artefacts and monuments.

 

Some researchers simple ignore it or call it “decoration”, while others, frequently, consider it only as a solar symbol.

 

Indeed there are several meannings of the swastika, which occur throught time and space and that must be analysed with a contextual approach.

 

In 1978, the discovery of a Chinese comet Atlas at Mawangdui, dating from the 4th century BC, is surely a turning point regarding the interpretation of the swastika. In fact, one of the depicted comets has the shape of that symbol.

 

In this paper the author presents an interdisciplinary methodology to demonstrate the cometary origins of the swastika: iconographic data (prehistoric carvings, the Chinese comet atlas and drawings from early astronomers), astronomical and astrophysics data (studies regarding comets and experiences in astrophysics), writen data (texts from Classical Roman writers), and geographical data (the simultaneous presence of the symbol during the V millenium BC, in regions without contact).

 

As a conclusion, it can be argued that during Prehistory the relation between comets and religion (or myth) is very close and, therefore, these astronomical events must have left a deep impression in the mind of the observers, due to the visual impact that they produced, being probably considered as manifestations of the gods.

 

Lorenzo De Cola, Flavio Cambieri, Maria Emilia Peroschi

IL MONOLITO DEI SERPENTI: UN SITO SACRO NEL JEBEL UWEINAT

 

Jebel Uwinat is a mountainous mass in the Eastern Sahara extending through Egypt, the Sudan and Libya where numerous and rich rock art sites attest to the importance of an area frequented and traversed by peoples for many millennia, up until the last century. This paper deals with a particular site, a sand monolith with a vaguely human profile and a significant number of engravings. This is the only case known to date in the Jebel Uweinat of representations of snakes and a human figure leading them. Here we note the sacred value in both the snake figures and the entire site, taking into consideration the anthropological studies of populations of Western Chad. In these we recall the value of the mineral world of Ancient Egypt, myths, legends, and cults connected to the serpent or snake in civilizations as well as paleo-linguistic information to distinguish the sacred sphere in Saharan rock art. Our proposal is that this site be considered once again as a full-fledged “sacred” site.

 

Giuseppina Gradoli, Robin Skeates

INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL SARDINIA DURING THE NEOLITHIC AND BRONZE AGE: THE SEULO CAVES PROJECT

 

Four different cave sites were selected near the village of Seulo, Central Sardinia, for test-excavation in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The area, never investigated before from an archaeological viewpoint, proved to be rewarding because each cave contained rich prehistoric ritual deposits that could be assigned to between the Middle Neolithic and the Final Bronze Age (c. 4700 – 850 cal BC). The caves range from wide rock-shelters to small chambers, long corridors, and large complex cave systems, and all appear to have been used for the performance of rituals, some of a type previously identified elsewhere in the Central Mediterranean region (e.g. Whitehouse 1992). These ritual practices can be regarded as intellectual and spiritual expressions of the human groups that performed them, as can aspects of the pottery used in these contexts. Indeed, the petrological study of the Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery from the Seulo caves permitted to identify specially made pottery used in these ritual performances. Fragments of ritually burnt pottery from the Final Neolithic Is Janas Cave were intentionally added as grog temper by potters to the new vessels of Bronze Age – incorporating the potency of past into their present.

 

Rosa Lucidi, CarloVirili

LA DANZA COME ESPRESSIONE DEL LINGUAGGIO FUNERARIO: IL CASO DELLA SCODELLA DELLA TOMBA 1 DI CAMPO REATINO (RI)

 

Long known to scholars and archaeologists is the lip of a bowl decorated with anthropomorphic figurines on the outer wall, from the Early Iron Age cemetery of the Campo area around Rieti (RI). A more careful reading of some descriptive details of the carved figurines may encourage some reflection on the expressive language of the funeral.

 

The bowl was found in 1929 during the work of quarrying the limestone of the original bench. The vessel relates to a cremation grave which included the burial of burnt bones in a stone quadrangular enclosure type "cassette". Exceptionally, the cremated remains were contained in a specially dug concave depression in the bottom of the box and the bowl was placed covered with the base upward and with the loop broken ritually. The vessel was the only element of the funeral, yet at the same time it held the lid of the container containing the cremated remains of the deceased. The vessel placed upside down facilitated the vision of the scene that takes place on the outside walls, consisting of six anthropomorphic figurines arranged in a paratactic sequence continuing round the central core of the background decorated with a swastika pattern, with cup-shaped incisions or indentations. The body of the figurines is represented schematically and terminal points, such the head, hands and feet, are integrated naturally as cup-shaped indentations. In three cases, the “cuppella” seems to indicate male figurines. One could create a composition scheme thus formed (M = male, F = female): M + M + F + F + M + F, but taking into account the continuity of the circle at least three pairs composed of FM + MF + FM could be isolated. All the figurines represented in perspective have legs splayed at right angles and seem engaged in a kind of funeral dance (choros) performed with arms open and outstretched hands down. The idea of circular motion is emphasized by both the swastika and the frame box figure just below the rim of the loop. One might think of a willingness to express an articulate language of funerary associations, in which anthropomorphic signs are a kind of symbolic grammar derived from the association of ideas. The desire to transmit, through a decorative composition, as complex funeral rituals, symbolic meanings of edges, is even more highlighted by the fact that the decoration is only on the outside of the vessel and readable only if the jar is inverted (functionally placed as the cover of the funeral urn), that is, from the viewpoint of the public who would, in attending a funeral, also have a developed sense of this figurative language.

 

Federico Mailland

GEOGLYPHS: ORIGIN AND MEANING

 

Drawing landscapes is a kind of figurative art in use since the prehistory, though less durable than rock engraving or painting. Either “additive” or “extractive” techniques have been used to produce distinct images, different in colour and relief from the ground. Ancient geoglyphs are known from Europe, northern and southern America and have been very recently reported in the Near East. They have in common the characteristic of large dimensions which render them well visible from the air, by implying the knowledge of proportion and mathematic.

 

To the local native Americans of the south-west, the images are living shrines made by their remote ancestors. Contemporary aborigines of north Australia make sand or earth sculptures during mortuary or healing rites.

 

Ancient geoglyphs have been connected to religion and spirituality and those of Atacama and Nazca have been interpreted by some scholars as ceremonial pathways. Zoomorphic geoglyphs would have been totemic shrines of ancient people.

 

The recent discoveries at Har Karkom postulate the origin of geoglyphs back to the Palaeolithic age.

 

Marcel Otte

SPECIFICITE DU LANGAGE GRAPHIQUE

 

Artistic messages cannot be reduced to the myths that bore them. Arranged images possess their own power and engender their own imaginary realm. They are established through time and provoke an endless mythological cascade. Their physical seduction is striking, throughout time, to renewed emotions harking back to the origins. Narratives disappear or undergo metamorphosis, images subsist, potential incarnations of each successive group of values.

 

Raffaella Poggiani Keller

ORIGINE E SIGNIFICATO DELLE STATUE-STELE LOMBARDE

 

In Valle Camonica and in neighbouring Valtellina, during the 2nd half 4th and the beginning of 3nd millennium BC, as recent and wide excavations and surveys show, megalithic cult and ceremonial sites with steles and menhir-boulders engraved are founded. These sites, where a systematic survey was carried out to define the parameters of territorial choice, have a special significance in the landscape of the valley and constitute an expression and consequence of the density of occupation, extending from the valley floor to high altitudes, wich developed from the Late Neolithic onwards, as enduring and demonstrated possession of the territory.

 

Among the 29 sites till now found in the two valleys, at least 18 are contexts in situ. The paper offers a meaningful example for the knowledge of these sanctuaries discovered in recent years in Valcamonica, at Ossimo-Pat and Cemmo and in Valtellina, at Caven-Teglio.

 

Carmelo Prestipino

CULTS OF STONES: FROM ORAL TRADITION TO TRACE IN THE WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION.

 

The persistence of "cults of stones" is documented by many oral traditions that have preserved, sometimes confusedly, the memory to ours day, thanks to the work of anthropologists and researchers who have collected the evidence. Unfortunately, in many cases, this memory has been lost or has faded, or changed, due to following legendary stratifications of the original myth; the perusal of archives documentary sources of the sixteenth-and seventeenth-century confirm, or brings to light some situations thatc onfirm the suggestive power in fully modern age. The examples are numerous: from the "rock of San Martino" Quiliano (SV), known for its healing powers until 1900 and documented in the fourteenths acts, to the church of San Pietro and Paul of Legino (SV) which maintained a "piece of rock, subject of superstitions, next to the altar" until 1600, and other cases such as the "mushroom Plain" (SV), or the church of S. Mary Gottasecca (CN) examples of cults of stones reached to modern times almost immunes.

 

Matteo Riccò

IL SOGNO DELLE ORIGINI

 

The dream and its exteriorization are, in psychoanalysis, one of the foundations of human culture from its origins. Since the pioneering work of Freud and Geza Roheim, our discipline is adept in the study of the complex relationship between dreams and creativity: in addition to regulating system of voltage-processing and transformation of psychic conflict, as a laboratory in which perpetuates change constantly and the oscillation of desire, between omnipotence and reality, the dream is definitely, with sexuality, the first engine of human creativity.

 

Rocchitelli Andrea

THE TRANSFERT AS A MECHANISM OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN HUMANS

 

The Tranfert represents a fundamental tool in psychoanalytic research but also describes the process by which man, since its origins, had exteriorized mental content through increasingly sophisticated forms of expression.

 

This mechanism that Psychoanalysis defines the transfer of feelings and thoughts about a significant interpersonal relationship, in the course of human evolution may have been the original mechanism in the development of mental processes.

 

Andrzej Rozwadowski

ARCHAEOLOGY AND PREHISTORY OF SHAMANISM: ONE OR MANY ORIGINS?

 

The phenomenologically oriented archeology of shamanism naturally used to focus its attention on traces of shamanic experience to be observed in different periods and different parts of the world. Hence it is not surprising that the research has particularly concentrated on rock art, the visual expression of the mind. In some opposition to the archeology of shamanism seems to be the issue of the prehistory of shamanism, which rather than focusing on universals of the mind raises the question of the antiquity of tradition. Perceiving shamanism in terms of local symbolic tradition implies more a historical then a phenomenological perspective. Following this historical path, the paper considers ways of identifying shamanism in the rock art of Central Asia and Siberia. It suggests that key to the question of antiquity of this tradition can be an analysis of the symbolic connotations of the material attributes of the shaman. This study traces shamanic symbolism in prehistoric rock art and demonstrates aspects of continuity (in the sphere of symbols) and aspects of changes (in the sphere of material culture). Moreover, the analysis questions the idea of the timelessness of Central Asian and Siberian shamanism (which seems to be effected by treating this shamanism as mostly classic) and suggests that the earliest spectacular evidences of configuration of symbols crucial for this Asian shamanism can be noted in the rock art not earlier than approximately the turn of the third and second millennia BC. The archeology of shamanism seems to be a topic slightly different from the prehistory of shamanism, as each of these archeological topics involve different research questions.

 

Anek R. Sankhyan

EARLY OCCUPATION OF ASIA BY ARCHAIC AND MODERN HOMO SAPIENS: RECENT FOSSIL EVIDENCES FROM INDIA

 

In South Asia it is the Central Narmada valley of India which provided the first tangible hominin fossil evidence of a partial skull cap (Sonakia 1984) associated with mega terrestrial Middle Pleistocene fauna and dated to around 300 to 150 Kya. It was a ‘large bodied’ robust archaic species, generally considered as an “archaic” Homo sapience or “evolved” Homo erectus, but then also attributed to the widely occurring species, Homo heidelbergensis. It was a prolific hunter of mega terrestrial mammals with heavy duty Acheulian handaxes, cleavers and massive chopping implements. The hominin skull cap is recently joined by a partial distal femur by the author (2010, Unpub. Ph.D. Thesis), which confirms the existence of presence of a ‘large bodied’ robust archaic species of mosaic morphology between Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis, indirectly speaking for the existence of Homo heidelbergensis in South Asia.

 

But, the author has also discovered fossils of another ‘short and stocky’ Homo sapiens from the Central Narmada valley (Sankhyan 1997, 2005, 2009). One is a ‘very short and stocky’ archaic type represented by two clavicles and a partial 9th rib, paralleling the Andamanese pygmy in reconstructed body dimensions. They come from a later Middle Pleistocene level (~200-150 Kya) possessing a sophisticated light duty Late Acheulian to Mode 3 technology and hunted small game animals. This ‘short and stocky’ archaic Homo sapiens lineage has apparently displaced/replaced the ‘large bodied’ Homo heidelbergensis, and continued to occupy South Asia during Upper Pleistocene as is attested by a new fossil evidence of partial humerus by the author (2010, Unpub. Ph.D. Thesis). It comes from the Pre-Toba (~74 Kya) sediments, and datable to around 80 Kya and found in association with Mode 3 to Mode 4 technology; the first time discovered evidence of “osteolithic” artifacts or bone tools is of special considerable as it speaks for a shift in adaptive technological strategy during Upper Pleistocene consequently leading to achieve early modernity by the indigenous South Asian archaic Homo sapiens.

 

Earlier modern Homo sapiens were believed to have occupied South Asia only much after the Toba eruption possibly during 60-50 Kya but the skeletal evidences were available only for the later Upper Palaeolithic to Mesolithic times not older to ~30 Kya from Sri Lanka (Kennedy Deraniyagala 1989) and Afghanistan (Angel 1972). Recently, fossil evidences from the Zhirendong in South China of fossilized molars and an anterior mandible (Wu Liu et al. 2010) dated to over 100 Kya has confirmed early expansion of modern humans in Asia. In the light of these fossil evidences it would be interesting to review the existing hypotheses of the “Volcanic Winter”/ “bottle-necks” (Ambrose 1998) and ‘out of Africa expansion’ or ‘multiregional regional evolution’ of the modern Homo sapiens.

 

Umberto Sansoni

L’ORANTE, LO SCIAMANO E PLATONE: (LIBERE) RIFLESSIONI SULLE RADICI SIMBOLICHE

 

The figure of the worshiper, expressed both in rock art and other contexts, throughout space and time, has certain archetypal characteristics. It therefore expresses deep currents in humanity, as the direct emanation of what Jung defines as animist instinctuality. The gesture of the arms pointing up, hands free and open, is situated in the framework of the sacred: with uncertain boundaries and admixtures that this always presents symbolically with ritual, magical, religious, mythical focalizations, funereal, shamanistic or other ideological elements. This is a simple scheme, undoubtedly profound, that, irrespective of the forms of diffusionism, expresses cosmological values which can be synthesized in axis mundi. In particular, the praying figure with "big hands" expresses power, that is, willful strength, and in this lineage, we have rock art images of the hero, the shaman, the spirit, Thor, Christ and the Virgin, on Coptic miniatures. The same posture of the worshiper is among the most typical representations of shamans rom different cultures (Lapland, Siberia, Central Asia, American Indian, South Africa). For the Sami (Lapland, Karelia) or Chippewa (U.S., Canada), they are recognizable from the position and attributes as representing gods-spirits, shamans or members of the community engaged in ritual practices. The traditional art of large prehistoric rock art areas support this view, from the Paleolithic era on, with a gradual scaling back/confinement, especially in the early protohistoric era, with the advancing process of socio-religious organization.

 

Dana Shaham

THE ARTICULATION OF MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS DURING THE NATUFIAN CULTURE IN THE LEVANT

 

The consistent appearance of visual-art manifestations in the Levantine Natufian culture (c. 15,000–11,000 cal BP) is recognized as a valid indication of growing social complexity.

Studying Natufian art in a comparative approach, we can distinguish between different artistic modes of creation, inferring their various communicative values.

 

Identification of several types of sound- instruments among these visual-art manifestations offers another course for investigation, elaborated by the distinction between rhythmic music and other modes of instrumental sound modification.

 

Thus, specific characterization of these Natufian finds sheds a new light on their socio-cultural context; referring to the aesthetic approach which dichotomizes the two art forms, we shall endeavour to explain this audiovisual evidence in terms of complementary aspects of one and the same social role.

 

Vis-à-vis integrative particularism and universalism, we are teasing-out the phenomena; these poly-aesthetic devices for ritualization (formalization of communicative behaviour) indicate varied levels of memory cultivation and emotions cultivation in the Natufian socio-cultural arena, a basic mechanism in the cohesion and sustainability of complex societies.

 

Manuela Tartari

THE TRADITIONAL SKILLS OF CURE

 

Anthropology has long questioned the specificity and differences between traditional and Western therapeutic instruments. The symbolic efficacy of shamanic care is the focus of much debate, in particular arising from discussions in 1949 that Levi-Strauss provided with his knowledge of the sorcerers.

 

From that debate, ethnopsychoanalysis arose as a discipline that has provided important conceptual and methodological tools for observing a large set of human attempts to transform pain: body, soul, illness, change, death and beyond. These are the words of a language which, since prehistoric times, relentlessly tries to give voice to the inexpressible, to explore the boundaries between psyche and soma, between human and animal, living and dead.

 

What does a ritual cure? Who cures? How can one cure?

 

In returning to the themes of this debate, we will try to reflect on the origin of curing rituals.

 

Tsoni Tsonev

ONTOLOGY OF HUMAN PREDATION AND APPEARANCE OF THE FIRST MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE AND ART

 

The introduction of new foods: cereals and milk products, which are not natural nutrients for humans, require relatively long-term biological adaptation (developing particular genes in order to make possible the consumption of animal milk and neutralizing the effects of gluten contained in cereals that causes allergic reactions). While the gradually increasing consumption of such foods may lead to permanent adaptation to these new foods, this not that complicated transformation of diet brought about a wide range of transformations in the way of life of large populations in Eurasia. This paper will focus on the cultural transformations that have both unique and universal features. Under scrutiny is the unique way by which these early communities managed and suppressed inter- and intra-community violence. Examined are the unique qualities of cereals and new food consumption to transforming society and its basic regulating systems. The second emphasis in this study is the recognition of the universal characteristics of ‘monumentality’ in art, architecture, and living space that, coupled with the unique characteristics of the introduction of new foods, created a learning environment for every member of these early communities that ultimately led to the invention of a writing system and urban way of life.

 

Steven J. Waller

AUDIO AND VISUAL ILLUSIONS: HOW INTELLECTUAL MODELS ATTEMPTED BY PRE-SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES TO EXPLAIN AMBIGUOUS NATURAL PHENOMENA COULD LEAD TO SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATIONS AND EXPRESSIONS

 

Pre-scientific peoples did not possess accurate theoretical models, e.g., that sound is conducted by waves of air pressure.  Sound wave reflection gives the illusion of a virtual source behind the reflecting surface.  In the past, this was modeled as answers emanating from non-corporeal beings dwelling within the rocks, as attested by ancient myths from around the world describing beliefs in echo spirits.  Audio measurements reveal that prehistoric rock art was often placed at locations with particularly intense echoes, including reverberation that mimics thunder.  In a similar way, old British legends implicate two magic pipers in the formation of megalithic stone rings.  Experiments demonstrate that when a simple impedance model is assumed, the dead zones of a sound wave interference pattern from a pair of flutes can be mis-perceived as the sound being blocked by a Stonehenge-like structure.  Measurements of the acoustic shadows actually cast by Stonehenge support the new theory that interference patterns served as blueprints for megalithic stone rings by causing an auditory illusion of a virtual structure that can be sensed only by its effect on sound.  A wide variety of other illusions can originate from ambiguous natural phenomena, which without modern knowledge were inexplicable, hence were considered supernatural and evoked spiritual responses.  Further details may be found at the http://sites.google.com/site/rockartacoustics/ web page.

 

Ambrogio Zaia

LE STELE E I SANTUARI: IL PENSIERO PSICOARCHEOLOGICO DI NICOLA PELUFFO

 

Nicola Peluffo has participated since 1995 in the work of the Centre Camuno and meetings that Emmanuel Anati organized over the years. His ideas have moved in the wake of the contributions that psychoanalysis can offer to archaeological research and reflections on the origins of the human mind. The existence of a primary memory, an unconscious able to preserve traces of the past in the form of ancestral and phylogenetic footprints, its presence in prehistoric art, the manifestations of what we call in micropsychoanalysis Image, its externalism in the rock style of writing, and their relationships with dream life are among the many topics that the author has treated and will try to summarize.

 

Zhang Yasha

THE PREVALENCE OF “BIRD TOTEM” IN ANCIENT ZHANG-ZHUNG AND “BIRD BURIAL” IN TIBET

 

The distribution area of ancient Tibetan rock paintings conforms to the geographic location of ancient Zhang-zhung Kingdom. According to historic documents from Bon, the ancient Zhang-zhung people are the descendants of holy bird Khyung. The holy bird worship of ancient Zhang-zhung people has been fully represented in Tibetan rock paintings, with some sort of mysterious correlation indicated between a wide range of pagoda-like altar figures as well as the holy bird Khyung worship represented in Tibetan rock paintings around 2 000 B.P. and the burial custom of ancient Zhang-zhung. Bird Burial, which is also known as sky burial, is a unique burial custom in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Bird burial turned into the dominant burial custom in the aftermath of 11th century, which demonstrates that Bon culture of Northern Zhang-zhung has a deep and imperceptible influence on the Tibetan folklore culture.

 

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