Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by TermsFeed
 
Bradshaw Foundation Paleoanthropology News
Bradshaw Foundation Paleoanthropology News
Bradshaw Foundation Paleoanthropology News
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Understanding Ice Age behaviour
Tuesday 19 October 2021

An article on theguardian.com by David Graeber and David Wengrow - Unfreezing the ice age: the truth about humanity’s deep past - reports on the archaeological discoveries that are shattering scholars’ long-held beliefs about how the earliest humans organised their societies during the Ice Age.

Ice Age Upper Palaeolithic seasonal Dolní Věstonice Göbekli Tepe
A reconstruction (left) of an Upper Paleolithic mammoth hunter settlement at Dolní Věstonice in the Czech Republic. Photograph: Album/Alamy. A megalithic enclosure at Göbekli Tepe (right) in south-east Turkey. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock.

Using the evidence of princely burials, stone temples, mammoth monuments and bustling centres of trade and craft production stretching back far into the ice age, the authors describe an overall pattern of seasonal congregation for festive labour.

Article continues below
Article continues

Almost all the ice age sites with extraordinary burials and monumental architecture were created by societies that lived by dispersing into foraging bands at one time of year, gathering together in concentrated settlements at another. This was not necessarily to plant crops; the large Upper Palaeolithic sites are linked to migrations and seasonal hunting of game herds – woolly mammoth, steppe bison or reindeer – as well as cyclical fish-runs and nut harvests. 'This seems to be the explanation for those hubs of activity found in eastern Europe at places like Dolní Věstonice, where people took advantage of an abundance of wild resources to feast, engage in complex rituals and ambitious artistic projects, and trade minerals, marine shells and furs. In western Europe, equivalents would be the great rock shelters of the French Périgord and the Cantabrian coast, with their deep records of human activity, which similarly formed part of an annual round of seasonal congregation and dispersal'.

Archaeological evidence now suggests that in the highly seasonal environments of the last Ice Age, our remote ancestors were shifting back and forth between alternative social arrangements, building monuments and then closing them down again; allowing the rise of authoritarian structures during certain times of year then dismantling them. 'The same individual could experience life in what looks to us sometimes like a band, sometimes a tribe, and sometimes like something with at least some of the characteristics we now identify with states'.

Perhaps today's seasonal festivals are in fact a legacy of the ancient patterns of seasonal variation, fostering social and political self-consciousness.

click here to read the full article

Comment
Paleoanthropology
Understanding Ice Age behaviour
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 October 2021
New type of ancient human discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 25 June 2021
New graphic adaptation of Sapiens
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 09 November 2020
Oldest Neanderthal DNA found
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 November 2020
Controlled fire temperature for tools
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 28 October 2020
When Did the Early Humans Acquire a Mind?
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 23 June 2020
Genetic distance of Neanderthals & humans
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 04 June 2020
Altai Neanderthals trapped & hunted golden eagles
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 14 May 2020
Oldest H. sapien bones found in Bulgaria
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 May 2020
Neanderthals used flowers in mortuary rituals
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 19 February 2020
Paleo diet of roasted vegetables
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 21 January 2020
Neanderthals dived for shells to make tools
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 20 January 2020
The extinction of the Neanderthal
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 28 November 2019
Skull found in Greece
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 11 July 2019
Ice Age wolf found
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 12 June 2019
DNA reveals ancient migrations
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 06 June 2019
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
PALEOANTHROPOLOGY
Understanding Ice Age behaviour
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 October 2021
New type of ancient human discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 25 June 2021
New graphic adaptation of Sapiens
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 09 November 2020
Oldest Neanderthal DNA found
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 November 2020
Controlled fire temperature for tools
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 28 October 2020
When Did the Early Humans Acquire a Mind?
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 23 June 2020
Genetic distance of Neanderthals & humans
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 04 June 2020
Altai Neanderthals trapped & hunted golden eagles
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 14 May 2020
Oldest H. sapien bones found in Bulgaria
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 May 2020
Neanderthals used flowers in mortuary rituals
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 19 February 2020
Paleo diet of roasted vegetables
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 21 January 2020
Neanderthals dived for shells to make tools
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 20 January 2020
The extinction of the Neanderthal
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 28 November 2019
Skull found in Greece
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 11 July 2019
Ice Age wolf found
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 12 June 2019
DNA reveals ancient migrations
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 06 June 2019
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store