March 26, 2018 - Comments Off on The story of human evolution is written in ochre

The story of human evolution is written in ochre

Mixing ochre paint under a tree in Omungunda Namibia.

"Smeared on shells, piled in graves, stamped and stenciled on cave walls from South Africa to Australia, Germany to Peru, ochre has been a part of the human story since our very start — and perhaps even earlier.

For decades, researchers believed the iron-rich rocks used as pigment at prehistoric sites had symbolic value. But as archaeologists turn up evidence of functional uses for the material, they’re realizing early humans’ relationship with ochre is more complex."

read more in Discover Magazine here

March 24, 2018 - Comments Off on New light on human evolution

New light on human evolution

New light on human evolution

Groundbreaking research puts human evolution in a new perspective as significant archaeological findings reveals sign of modern human behavior 300 000 years ago.

"This discovery suggests that the earliest African Homo sapiens populations were already cognitively, socially and technologically complex", says Francesco d’Errico. He is a professor at UiB and Principal Investigator at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behavior (SapienCE). He is also part of the international team behind the remarkable findings in Kenya, and one of the co-authors of the article that has been published in Science, covering these discoveries.

Sophisticated early life

It is not every day that investigators stumble over findings that can change the understanding of human history, but these particular discoveries may be just one of these great moments. Francesco d’Errico is not denying the fact that these discoveries are significant.

Continue Reading on UIB.NO

March 1, 2018 - Comments Off on Oldest Paintings in the World now over 65,000 years old

Oldest Paintings in the World now over 65,000 years old

Gallery C of La Pasiega cave in Monte Castillo.

The big news this week in Anthropology is that a species besides humans seems to have painted. Dirk Hoffman and Allistair Pike have published an article in the journal Science that dates the paintings to well over 65,000 years ago. That is 25,000 years older than previously dated art from Spain and Indonesia.

65,000 years ago the only known species that could have made the paintings are Neanderthals. The dates come from three caves widely separated in Spain. This is a stunning development in the world of art history. Hoffman and Pike explain their results in the video below.

You can reach the Science article here.

In this video from National Geographic shot in 2014 Allistair Pike discusses his belief that Neanderthals could have made art.

February 7, 2018 - Comments Off on Procession Panel, San Juan County Utah

Procession Panel, San Juan County Utah

Last Spring the Ancient Art Archive spent a couple weeks in Utah recording sites in the new Bears Ears National Monument. Here is an updated version of one of the panels we visited. The Procession panel has 179 human-like figures that seem to be centered around a circle. It is an incredible piece of artwork.

 

December 12, 2017 - Comments Off on The Dogs of Saudi Arabia first images of domesticated dogs

The Dogs of Saudi Arabia first images of domesticated dogs

A rock art panel from Saudi Arabia may well be the oldest record of domesticated dogs. Maria Guagnin has been working on engravings in the Shuwaymis Hills of northwestern Saudi Arabia. She has cataloged over 1400 images from the region including what may be dogs on a leash. This article in Science lays out her work.

Rock art is notoriously hard to date, but if her dates are accurate these engravings are likely 8,000 - 9,000 years old. That edges out Iranian depictions of mans best friend by 1,000 years.

 

October 11, 2017 - Comments Off on Deep Time Explained

Deep Time Explained

Time is one of the hardest concepts to wrap your head around. People have been on the earth for about 300,000 years. For almost all of that time, we've been hunter-gatherers. But how long has the Earth been here?

NPR's Skunk Bear does a great job of helping us visualize Earth's history and our place in it.

The video is below and the original post is here.

September 2, 2017 - Comments Off on Limited Edition Chauvet Portfolio to support the Ancient Art Archive

Limited Edition Chauvet Portfolio to support the Ancient Art Archive

I have selected 12 images for a portfolio of prints to help support the Ancient Art Archive. Each image is limited to 12 prints each. Once they are sold there will be no more. The images are approximately 21" x 33" on 2 x 4-foot paper.

Go here to see all the images and purchase.

I'll be showing six of these prints in Oxford next month as part of a lecture at the
Saïd Oxford Business School on September 13. The talk is free but registration is required. Go here for details.

-Stephen Alvarez

August 16, 2017 - Comments Off on Ancient Pueblo Rock Art Eclipse on Live Science

Ancient Pueblo Rock Art Eclipse on Live Science

Live Science has an excellent discussion of a solar eclipse depicted as rock art in Chaco Canyon. The image was discovered by McKim Malville in Chaco Canyon during a field trip in 1992. The image may describe the eclipse of July 11, 1097.

Read the whole article here.

 

August 14, 2017 - Comments Off on September 12 talk in London

September 12 talk in London

LISTEN TO HUMANITY'S OLDEST STORIES

Countless tales are hidden in our ancestors' oldest caves. National Geographic Explorer & Photographer Stephen Alvarez is hosting a one-day talk and photo exhibit, and would like you to join him on a journey back in time to our ancestor’s prehistoric lives.

"A Private Audience & Photo Exhibition by Stephen Alvarez"

Date: 12th Sept 2017, 6.30pm

Venue: Zuleika Gallery 3rd Floor, 6 Mason’s Yard, St James’s, London SW1Y 6BU

Tickets: here, proceeds benefit the Ancient Art Archive.

August 11, 2017 - Comments Off on Ancient Art in the Game of Thrones

Ancient Art in the Game of Thrones

In a scene that could almost have come out of an Ancient Art Archive presentation, Jon and Daenerys view ancient art in a cave.

"They  were right here, standing where we are standing..."

The art bit starts around 2:40.

Now to my eye, those engravings look a little too fresh to be ancient, and Jon Snow's motives might not make him the most objective observer. If I were Daenerys I wouldn't assume that they were genuinely old until the Uranium / Thorium or Carbon 14 dates came back and were peer reviewed.