Volume 19, Issue 3 (2012)                   IQBQ 2012, 19(3): 37-55 | Back to browse issues page

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Abdi K. The Emergence of “Art”: Explosion or Illusion. IQBQ. 19 (3) :37-55
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-8262-en.html
Abstract:   (2902 Views)
For some 3 million years, the archaeological record is characterized by stone tools undergoing incremental changes. Then around 40,000 years ago, the monotony of lithics is terminated by a profusion of visual representations, generally considered to be the world’s first objets d’art. This collection include a series of portable objects, especially figurines and, later on, the famous cave paintings from western Europe, as well as lesser-known shell-beads in the Levant and painted slabs in Australia. Despite myriad forms and geographic diversity, the figures of this period consistently exhibit a level of sophistication surprising for humanity’s first alleged dabbling in art.       Scholars argue over the rate at which art truly emerged. Natural objects engraved with simple geometric designs have been purported to be artistic precursors — the beginning of a gradual trajectory from primitive to developed art. Scientific analysis has confirmed that the appearance of some of these artifacts is consistent with an anthropogenic origin. However, even if they are man-made, the meaning of these objects is unclear. Rather than representing artistic antecedents, they may belong to a separate class of human activity, more akin to modern doodling. This suggestion seems rather plausible due to the fact that the archaeological record has crude geometric etchings and masterful realistic creations, but very little in between. If these categories are part of the same trajectory, where is the middle of the curve?
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Received: 2012/10/29 | Accepted: 2012/12/26 | Published: 2013/05/21

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