View Full Version : The Origins of Art, Religion and Mind

Thursday, August 7th, 2008, 10:52 PM
OriginsNet (http://originsnet.org/home.html) Researching the Origins of Art. Religion, and Mind

About OriginsNet

What is the earliest art?
What are the most primordial forms of religion and spirituality?
What were the first human symbols and metaphors?
What are the stages in the evolution of mind?
What are the deep strata of the human psyche?

A long held paradigm is that the earliest art appeared suddenly about 40,000 years ago in a kind of "creative explosion" testified to by the ice age cave art of France and Spain. This view holds that symbols, language, and religion also arose at this time and could only have been invented after the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens around 100,000 years ago.

On the basis of recent discoveries in palaeoanthropology, protolinguistics and related sciences, OriginsNet argues for a new paradigm. We believe that the archaeological record provides evidence that art-making, religion, and language have been evolving throughout the almost 3,000,000 years of hominid evolution. The evidence indicates that there were four major stages of human physical, technological, art, and mind evolution--four diasporas out of Africa--during the three million year evolution of human consciousness.

Some of the artifacts presented here are well-known -- but we offer new interpretations of them. Many artifacts presented here have never been published before and here you will see them for the first time.

It is not easy to understand their intended meaning. They call upon us to develop new modes of conceptualization and understanding. They call upon us to develop new paradigms for the origins of the human mind and psyche.

We at OriginsNet believe that palaeoart, including petroglyphs, rock paintings, engraved portable art, stone sculptures and stone arrangements, offers us a visionary potential, hope and symbols for our emergent planetary society.

At minimum palaeoart constitutes the shared heritage of humanity.

The OriginsNet Website

OriginsNet is dedicated to presenting images and studies that indicate that the origins and prehistory of art, religion, symbol and the human mind are far older than generally believed.

The OriginsNet website has over 30 galleries and over 500 images of Paleolithic art ('palaeoart') covering all four eras of the Paleolithic. The site contains basic information about the four Paleolithic eras and their respective key sites and technologies. The site has a Publications page with research writings on the origins and evolution of art, religion and language. They are provided in PDF and MS Word formats.

Interpreting and understanding the significance and meaning of palaeoart objects will require new interdisciplinary theories and models which draw upon archaeology, paleontology, anthropology, linguistics, semiotics, art history, history of religions, mythology, psychology and neurobiology.

OriginsNet is currently highlighting the work of OriginsNet's manager and webmaster, James Harrod, Ph.D., and others around the world who are researching the origins of art, religion, and symbolic meaning deep in the Paleolithic.

OriginsNet seeks to promote international communication and collaboration among origins researchers by hosting a clearinghouse, an image bulletin board and forum for identifying and interpreting examples of palaeoart and protolanguage.