Art. The oldest Cartoons in the World? 14,000 BP

Situation of the cave of La Marche (cartoons in France

ap La Marche (FR)

One expression of art we wouldn’t expect to be as old as 14,000 years are cartoons. Yet in the cave of La Marche ( Lussac-les-Châteaux,Vienne, see map), hunters and gatherers engraved drawings of people that look very modern to us. Some of them look as if we could meet them on the street today. Other forms of cave art may look very modern to us, but this form might be the one that is closest to contemporary people. Who has never drawn a cartoon e.g. of a teacher? It is clear that the same surprise or astonishment that struck people 14,000 years ago is still capable of moving us today. These cartoons are as far as we know the oldest ever made.

Cartoon youngster hat 1

Cartoon youngster hat 1

Drawing Picasso style of cartonn in La Marche 14,000 years ago

Drawing in Picasso style in La Marche 14,000 years ago

Two young men Bandana 3 Cartoon

Two young men with Bandana (3 Cartoon)

 

Cartoon Solshenitsin look alike 4

Cartoon Solshenitsin look alike 4

Cartoon Boy 5 La Marche

Cartoon Boy 5 La Marche

Cartoon Angry young man 6

Cartoon Angry young man 6

Cartoon Young man with hat, sitting 8

Cartoon Young man with hat, sitting 8

Cartoon Old, bold man 9

Cartoon Old, bold man 9. La Marche France

Cartoon Collection of portraits, drawn sideways 11 La Marchee

Cartoon Collection of portraits, drawn sideways 11 La Marche

Dr. Marc Vermeersch marc.vermeersch@gmail.com

If you are interested in art you might like these blogs:
The Origin of Aesthetic Feeling and Art Fundamental: How our aesthetic feeling originated in reproduction of man, a darwinian explanation.
The oldest statuettes adapted by man are between 233,000 and 800,000 years old
“Lion Man”, the oldest statuette with a combination man-animal ‘Der Löwenmensch” was found in Germany.
The oldest Love Statuette in the World They keep on loving for ever in the British Luseeum.
A virtual visit to the Lascaux Cave is mind blowing!
Nerja Caves: the oldest Cave Art in Europe, 42,000 years old Rock paintings , probably made by neanderthals
7000 BP. The Thinker and the Sitting Woman. Two extraordinary statuettes from Romania.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

A new Type of Human in Southwest China?

Simulation of the man found in Longlin en in Maludong 1 in Southwest China

Simulation of the man found in Longlin en in Maludong 1 in Southwest China

Finds discovered in in two places in Southwest China, Longlin and Maludong 1, point towards a type of human that had both modern and archaic characteristics.

On 14 March 2012, it was announced that a find in Southwest China could represent a new type of man. The results of the investigation of a partial skull found in a Longlin Cave (Guangxi) was announced together with those of Maludong (Yunnan) where multiple human bones were found. The finds are between 14,300 and 11,500 years old. According to the researchers they belonged to the same type of man, who had mix of modern and archaic characteristics. Archaic are e.g. the big eyebrow arches and no chin. Modern is that the front part of the skull indicates a frontal brain development.
The authors give two possible explanations:
– These were late survivors of an archaic population such as were also found in North Africa in Dar-es-Soltane and Temara (The authors compare a similar situation, not the remains) and perhaps also in China in Zhirendong.
– East Asia may have been colonized by humans in different waves. The finds of Maludong and Longlin could be of a type that had come from Africa before for Homo sapiens was the most important human living there.
On the BBC Isabel de Groot spoke about a third possibility: the finds in China are the result of a mixture of an old archaic population and modern people (sapiens).

A skull found in  Longlin

A skull found in Longlin

I think that these three explanations are thre possibilities, even in combination. Speaking of a new type of human seems to be premature. The researchers will try to extract DNA from the bones. If they would succeed multiple questions might be solved at once. Which would inevitably raise new questions.

Source: Darren Curnoe et al. , Human Remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition of Southwest China Suggest a Complex Evolutionary History for East Asians,  PLoS ONE 7(3): e31918. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031918

marc.vermeersch@gmail.com

About older types of humans in China:
Marc Vermeersch. De geschiedenis van de mens. Deel I. Jagers en verzamelaars. – Boek 1, van Pan tot Homo sapiens. p.112-113; 156-161; 165-166; 181;219-220.
– Boek 2, de maatschappij van -jagers en verzamelaars. , p.44; p.159-160.