Drawings of Representational Images by Upper Paleolithic Humans and their Absence in Neanderthals Reflect Historical Differences in Hunting Wary Game

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Drawings of Representational Images by Upper Paleolithic Humans and their Absence in Neanderthals Reflect Historical Differences in Hunting Wary Game
Series Title:
Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture
Creator:
Coss, Richard G.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Anatomically Modern Humans ( local )
Chauvet Cave Art ( local )
Representational Drawing ( local )
Neanderthals ( local )
Overt And Covert Attention ( local )
Predator–Prey Arms Race ( local )
Spear Throwing And Thrusting ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
One characteristic of the transition from the Middle Paleolithic to the Upper Paleolithic in Europe was the emergence of representational charcoal drawings and engravings by Aurignacian and Gravettian artists. European Neanderthals never engaged in representational drawing during the Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic, a property that might reflect less developed visuomotor coordination. This article postulates a causal relationship between an evolved ability of anatomically modern humans to throw spears accurately while hunting and their ability to draw representational images from working memory. Unlike Neanderthals, archaic and anatomically modern humans in sub-Saharan Africa adopted longer-range hunting practices using hand-cast spears as a compensation for the emergence of increasingly wary game. For Neanderthals, paleoclimatic fluctuations likely precluded consistent hunting of cold-adapted game, a property making game more approachable for close-range hunting with thrusting spears. As evidence of less historical wariness of humans, many of the species hunted by Neanderthals were eventually domesticated. Due to strong sources of natural selection on archaic and anatomically modern humans for effective hunting, the parietal cortex that integrates visual imagery and motor coordination expanded progressively, yielding the globular shape of the human cranium that is not evident in Neanderthals. To characterize how the cognitive properties employed for throwing spears and drawing line work are similar, the Upper Paleolithic drawings of animals in Chauvet cave, France, are discussed in the speculative context of how these artists engaged simultaneously in overt attention to guide their hand movements and covert attention to their mental images during the drawing process.
Original Version:
Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Vol. 1, no. 2 (2017-12-26).

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University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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