There’s a new finding about some cave paintings in Spain. Turns out that they were painted by Neanderthals. Those are the hillbilly cousins of homo erectus that we don’t like to talk about. We’re better than them.
Or so we thought. Turns out they were just like us. Mostly.
We wonder why we don’t find more art of all types from early humans. There’s a bunch of reasons of course.
Stuff gets lost. Gets covered over. Washes away.
But a lot of things don’t.
There’s a big reason in particular I want to harp on about.
Ancient people only made ancient art when they had the time and the inclination.
In other words, they were rich. Relatively speaking.
If you are an ancient person, but young at heart, and you’re hungry or cold or tired or about to be eaten by a tiger, the last thing you’re going to think about is making some art.
But if you have some time, you’re full, you’re not worried about your next meal, and you’ve got some deep thoughts you’ve been thinking over for a while, then guess what?
Grab that torch, get some rocks and charcoal, and head for the caves.
Reminds me a bit of the guys who do all that graffiti along the roads in the cities.
So the reason we don’t see a whole lot of art from back then is because people weren’t fat or happy that often. And that’s good to know.
So the next time you see some cave art, think about those fat and happy people. And then try to figure out what they were thinking about. After all, aren’t you also happy?