ART AND MANKIND: LAROUSSE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PREHISTORIC AND by René Huyghe (general ed.)

By René Huyghe (general ed.)

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It remains for us to place them is in relation to their cii'ilisatiou. The most famous founders of this new field of prehistoriaus and one of the of study, Abbi Breuil, evokes this complex civilisation, which flourished particularly in western Europe. When we think back to our early years, our recollections soon run short; at the most a few facts and two or three faces stand out in the mist of memories. The memory of peoples equally short. is The length of geological human time, the revolutions of the globe witnessed by ancient man, unceasing and profound changes in the earth's tlic scenery, the countless crowd of actors on they have its stage been forgotten!

He often regards them as tremendously valuable, but for reasons which which show the lasting importance of the predatory or sexual impulses well known from observation of the animal kingdom. Lastly, in every site we always find pieces of exceptional quality among the flint implements, often treated in such a way that it is impossible not to admit the tool-maker's predilection for the shapes which come close to both aesthetic and functional perfection. have no direct connection with aesthetics. The same phenomenon existed during Antiquity and the Middle Ages and, until recent times, in Europe and the Far East, where natural oddities were housed with the alchemist and the apothecary.

It is quite possible that further careful research might disclose them at any level of the European Upper Palaeolithic, for the painted caves have on their walls groups of dots date, and signs similar to those on the pebbles. caves of Castillo and Niaux enable us to observe that at an earlier epoch certain artists already possessed a large repertory of conventional signs from which the or bars The Azihan figures were derived. The origin of these painted pebbles, then, goes far back into the Upper Palaeolithic, especially into that of the Mediterranean region, where tribes Uved along the httoral, existing mainly by cola labour requiring little effort.

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