The Nature of Paleolithic Art
With a natural historian's keen eye for observation, and as one who has spent a lifetime using bones and other excavated materials to piece together past human behavior and environments, Guthrie demonstrates that Paleolithic art is a mode of expression we can comprehend to a remarkable degree and that the perspective of natural history is integral to that comprehension. He employs a mix of ethology, evolutionary biology, and human universals to access these distant cultures and their art and artifacts. Guthrie uses innovative forensic techniques to reveal new information; estimating, for example, the ages and sexes of some of the artists, he establishes that Paleolithic art was not just the creation of male shamans.
With more than 3,000 images, The Nature of Paleolithic Art offers the most comprehensive representation of Paleolithic art ever published and a radical (and controversial) new way of interpreting it. The variety and content of these images—most of which have never been available or easily accessible to nonspecialists or even researchers—will astonish you. This wonderfully written work of natural history, of observation and evidence, tells the great story of our deepest past.
Note on the Illustrations
1. Drawn from Life
2. Paleolithic Artists as Naturalists
3. Tracking Down the Pleistocene Artists: The Unemphasized Role of Children
4. Testosterone Events and Paleolithic Imagery
5. The Art of Hunting Large Mammals
6. Full-Figured Women—In Ivory and in Life
7. The Evolution of Art Behavior in the Paleolithic
8. Bands to Tribes: The End of the Pleistocene and the Extinguishing of Paleolithic Art
9. Throwing the Bones: Paleolithic Art and the Evolution of the Supernatural
Appendix 1. Paleolithic Handprint Analysis, by Arny Blanchard
Appendix 2. An Intuitive Way to Look at the Hand Biometrics Using Bivariate Plots