Just before my departure I finished a new publication on Prehistoric Art. It is a book by Gwenn Rigal: (2016) "Le temps sacré des cavernes", published by Biophilia. It gives a well written overview on the state of research and attempts of interpretation of prehistoric art, with a focus on the rock art in France and Spain but also connecting with research elswhere in the world.
It is a big achievement that the writer manages to bring all the different pieces of information from very different researchers together in a overview, with the facts of archeological findings and the pros and cons of different theoretic developments. It was a pleasure to read as I have seen many of the locations he refered to. I also like the very differentiated approach all those theories have some truth in it and some might be valid in specific situations and others in other situations. After all we are talking about a period of 30.000 year with different climates and different locations.
There are some things which particularly appealed to me as it connects with my own experience, my imagination and fascination.
Prehistoric people in the Pleistocene did not attempt to dominate nature they were one with nature, nature did support them. That is what I am always looking for.
The sjamanic interpretation is quite interesting, the ornated caves as places of communication with the spirit world. But right now for me even more fascinating is the connection with research on mythology.
Especially myths of the origin of all living creatures, fascinate me.
On all corners of the earth there are stories about how all life came out of the inside of the Earth.
In teh beginning there is a state of chaos where everything was mixed or strange combinations between animals and humans or between different animals existed to develop later into a more clear ordening of species. The worlds of earth and water inside the earth was the cradle of mankind. The rocks were not hard and rigid in form but soft or even transparent and the figures would grow out of them.
Another interesting approach is the resarch on connections with astronomical constellations and events.
When I was looking at those rocksurfaces and what images they did evoke for me, just like prehistoric people saw the for them familiar animals and symbols, I often saw galaxies and star nebulas.