Cave paintings were created by primitive people under the influence of hallucinations

Science, technology and technology news

Cave paintings were created by primitive people under the influence of hallucinations

The oldest drawings are over 45 thousand years old. These were mainly images of animals, handprints and simple geometric shapes. Until now, scientists argue about what prompted the first artists to take up paints. According to one hypothesis, these drawings were a phenomenon of pure art, the artist just wanted to express his “I”. And contemporaries, looking at the creations of Malevich of the Paleolithic era, also twirled their fingers at their temples and demanded that the loafer switch to socially useful work for the tribe.

Proponents of another theory believe that the drawings of animals were part of a magical ritual, our ancestors believed that if you pierce a bison with painted spears, then in reality the hunt will be successful.

However, a group of scientists at Tel Aviv University proposed a new explanation for this phenomenon. They wondered why most of the drawings were made in the depths of the caves, at a distance of hundreds of meters from the entrance?

For example, in Ruffignac Cave, known as the Cave of a Thousand Mammoths, most of the images are drawn 730 meters from the entrance. After all, this is clearly inconvenient! These nooks and crannies were uninhabited – people usually settled in the spacious parts of the caves closer to the entrance. And in order to get into the depths of the “Tretyakov gallery” it was necessary to overcome a long way through narrow cracks and gaps, illuminating his path with a torch. And not just one! Because to create a picture on a wall, you need light from several torches.

Scientists created a computer model of the cave to analyze how the composition of the air would change inside, given that the artists with torches were actively burning oxygen. In doing so, they used a fire dynamics simulator developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology to simulate the spread of fires in complex sections of buildings.

“The natural concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere is 21%,” says the lead author of the study, historian Yafit Kedar. – We measured the rate of oxygen consumption in different scenarios, mainly we considered two halls – a small (dimensions 5x5x5 meters) and a large (20x10x5), connected by passages of different configurations. It is the height of the passage that has a strong influence on the oxygen concentration. In most cases, after 15 minutes, the oxygen level drops to 18%. And with a small – meter – height of the passage after two hours of burning torches, the oxygen concentration in the cave drops to 11 percent.

Cave paintings were created by primitive people under the influence of hallucinations

With a lack of oxygen, the body experiences a condition called hypoxia, it begins when the oxygen level is below 18%. When the concentration drops to 9.5%, the person usually faints. What sensations people experience when there is a lack of oxygen is known from the stories of climbers and scuba divers. These are drowsiness, euphoria, confusion, hallucinations, the feeling that you are swimming or flying. In other words, this is an altered state of consciousness, into which shamans bring themselves with the help of psychotropic herbal preparations. And the Delphic oracles in ancient Greece achieved the same effect by inhaling a narcotic gas coming out of a crevice.

Yafit Kedar and his colleagues believe that primitive people perceived the caves as a portal to the other world. Here, being in a state of trance, one could communicate with various creatures inhabiting other worlds – spirits, deceased ancestors, mythical characters, and perform magical rites. Underground painting was a form, part of this communication. The artists painted animals and hunting scenes, because they wanted in this way to convey to the higher powers a request for help in the survival of the tribe or the prosperity of the main prey animal. According to our ancestors, the issue of well-being and the preservation of world order depended on maintaining good relations with creatures inhabiting other worlds. And it was from this dialogue with the cosmos in a state of hallucination that painting grew. Perhaps that is why the internal logic of the development of this art brings the artists into such a jungle that it is difficult for ordinary viewers to understand what the authors have drawn.

Cave paintings were created by primitive people under the influence of hallucinations

Putin and Lukashenko will approve a new military doctrine

The Russian President will hold a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart via video communication while in occupied Sevastopol. On Thursday, Read more

A pregnant woman dies in Poland: she was not given a forced abortion because of the scandalous law

The family lawyer is convinced that the doctors were just waiting for the fetus inside women will die on their Read more

Leave a Reply