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ANCESTORY

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 12 months ago

18 July 2023 ANCESTORY by Hannah Salyer, HarperCollins/Clarion, April 2023, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-350846984-1

 

“Homo sapiens have long looked down on Neanderthals as the less sophisticated side of the family, but in the latest piece of evidence to the contrary, a team of scientists say they have identified the oldest intentional — and non-utilitarian — markings made by Neanderthals, found in the La Roche-Cotard cave in central France.

Jean-Claude Marquet of France’s Université de Tours led the research, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE in late June. While historians have known about the engravings since the 1970s, Marquet and his team are the first to argue that the 57,000-year-old markings constitute ‘unambiguous examples of Neanderthal abstract design.’

– “Scientists Identify Oldest Cave ‘Drawings’ Made by Neanderthals” https://hyperallergic.com/ (7/17/23)

 

“Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble

Ancient footprints are everywhere

You can almost think that you're seein' double

On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs

Got to hurry on back to my hotel room

Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's niece

She promised that she'd be right there with me

When I paint my masterpiece”

– Bob Dylan (1971)

 

ANCESTORY is a fascinating and stunningly beautiful nonfiction, ancient-history-related picture book. It provides significant evidence of the humanity of long-ago humans who depicted their worlds through stunning cave paintings.

 

“The lives of our ancestors were filled with difficulties and danger. They worked hard to survive.

And yet, for thousands of years and despite their struggles…

They took the time to create,

The planet has changed in countless ways since these works were made. Oceans and ice caps have expanded and then disappeared.

What was once green and blue has turned dry and dusty,

However, these ancient artworks remain–distant memories in stone of what came before us.”

 

Contrary to the brutishness and utter ignorance some assume about so-called “cavemen”, it’s clear that plenty of our ancestors were self-reflective and thoughtful storytellers and artists. The author/illustrator employs a variety of media in depicting these ancient cave painters and their cave paintings. 

 

The wealth of backmatter includes a spread listing and mapping a world of noted cave painting locations; a comprehensive glossary of related concepts and historic eras; and a great timeline covering cave painting over the past million or so years.

 

It would be fun to give elementary audiences opportunities to get their hands on rocks and natural dyes in order to attempt to emulate the ancestors and create a little bit of cave-like art.

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/    

richiepartington@gmail.com  

 

 

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