Wie der Homo sapiens die Kunst entdeckte

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Interessant dort auch die Kommentare, die sich zum Teil an dem Aspekt "Kunst" festbeißen, oder auf Werner Herzogs Film über die Höhle von Chauvet abschweifen, die ich schon vor einigen Jahren als einen groß angelegten Hoax bezeichnet habe - was natürlich kein Mensch bis heute Ernst genommen hat.

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"A staggering collection of ice age artefacts from museums across Europe will showcase the explosion of technical and imaginative skill that experts say marked the human race's discovery of art."

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"There is evidence that pigments were being used by our ancestors in Africa 150,000 years ago and that later, around 70,000 years ago, they were engraving geometric patterns on objects," says Professor Steven Mithen of Reading University. "But it was not until modern humans reached Europe more than 40,000 years ago - when there appears to have been an explosion of technical creativity - that art, as we understand it today, appeared. The results were breath-taking. Indeed, I don't think they have ever been surpassed."

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"The first is a flute made an incredible 40,000 years ago. Found in Hohle Fels in southern Germany, it is made from the hollow wing bone of a griffon vulture and is one of the world's oldest musical instrument. 'This is an extremely complex instrument,' says Cook. 'The diameter of the holes and their positioning on the back and front have been very carefully worked out. The trouble is that we don't know what kind of mouthpiece was used. If you add a reed you get an oboe-like sound, while a leather mouthpiece gives a sound like a tenor recorder. Either way, it shows our ancestors could express themselves symbolically, not just visually but with sounds.'"

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"The carving was made by a member of the Cro-Magnons, hunter-gatherer descendants of the first modern humans to occupy Europe around 45,000 years ago, and who lived there through the last ice age, which began 40,000 years ago and endured until 10,000 years before present. Reindeer, with their rich meat and thick pelts, would have been vital to tribes' survival and the Montastruc sculpture, with its delicate rib cages, antlers and coats, show how carefully the Cro-Magnons must have observed them.

As Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, says: 'This work was created by someone who had spent a long time watching reindeer.'

Objects such as these demonstrate more than craftsmanship, however. They show that Homo sapiens, uniquely among species, was demonstrating a sense of imagination. These craftsmen were not merely attempting to mimic nature. They were embellishing it."

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