Corona Anatine Lecture Feb 12 2012 Transcript


Below is a very late copy of the transcript from last Sunday’s lecture. Thanks so, so much to Muse Starsmith for going through his chat history to find it! I owe you, Muse!

Corona Anatine: [these notes now have the refs added which i missed out last week – due to typing straight from notes instead of cut and paste – i wil do the same this week – refs will be added in the final notecard version
[02/12/2012 12:11 PM] Corona Anatine: Red ochre therefore represented a common form of symbolic marking during the upper palaeolithic . [A Marshack 1991 p18] probably symbolism of blood/life /rebirth etc; attested by numerous ethnographic parallels. GH Luquet 1968 p171]
[02/12/2012 12:11 PM] Corona Anatine: However this was not necessarily always the case as parallels also indicate uses in hide and skin working. [SA de Beaune 1992 p179], P Bahn and J Vertut 1988 p70], or for protection from insects and/or cold [J flood 1983 p171, P Bahn and J Vertut 1988]
[02/12/2012 12:11 PM] Corona Anatine: Protection from insects or cold is however unlikely when artifacts were coated.
Though Marshack [1991] asks the question, “was it the colour or the overmarking which was meaningful, or both”
[02/12/2012 12:12 PM] Corona Anatine: In these situations the life symbolism was probably the main point; the act of coating or its presence imparting life or fertility magic to the object, consecrating it and imparting a ‘spirit’ which gave it life.
[02/12/2012 12:13 PM] Corona Anatine: The fertility association occurring in Australia where it was related to Brimorer, the rainbow snake, CE Smith 1991 p47, J Flood 1983 p46] This association with blood is however likely to derive from commonality of experience.
[02/12/2012 12:13 PM] Corona Anatine: One possibly being the rainbow serpent, which is also found in Africa with a similar connection with rainwater, the moon, fertility and by default therefore women.
[02/12/2012 12:14 PM] Corona Anatine: However this again merely illustrates the worldwide symbolic connections based on commonality of female experience. The connection being made abuandantly clear by Eliade 1958a and Shuttle and Redgrove 1978.
[02/12/2012 12:14 PM] Corona Anatine: This also means there is a strong case for thinking that palaeolithic women shared these natural experiences, made similar connections and gave red ochre very similar symbolic associations.
[02/12/2012 12:15 PM] Corona Anatine: Unless it alternatively indicates a level of contact or cultural transfer in pre history.
[02/12/2012 12:15 PM] Corona Anatine: This has three consequences
[02/12/2012 12:15 PM] Corona Anatine: i) images of water, the moon etc should be present in the palaeolithic, and where found have an association with the ‘female’ sphere.
[02/12/2012 12:15 PM] Corona Anatine: ii) The fertility power of women had importance for objects found in association or relationship with red ochre
[02/12/2012 12:16 PM] Corona Anatine: iii) Women [as a gender] may have held positions of power, eg they were practitioners of magic
[02/12/2012 12:16 PM] Corona Anatine: Although C Power does illustrate that among the Kung! there is evidence for social mutability of gender.
[02/12/2012 12:16 PM] Corona Anatine: ! shoukld be inverted but my pc keybopard has no such key
[02/12/2012 12:17 PM] Corona Anatine: The ethnographic parallels extensively cited by Frazer reinforce this conclusion, Frazer showing that women just by virtue of existing had dangerous ‘spirit’ power; equivalent to the most powerful chiefs and magicians. Menstrual blood with all its fertility and other associations being magical blood .
[02/12/2012 12:17 PM] Corona Anatine: Rock art and artefacts from a number of sources make clear the association
Menstrual blood= snake= water= coil /spiral= women/female
[02/12/2012 12:18 PM] Corona Anatine: the association possibly being the maening of cup and ring markings – but that would be impossible to prove
[02/12/2012 12:20 PM] Corona Anatine: The connection again possibly being seen in the genesis myth, as the elements are all present
A human made of ‘red earth = ochre, female ‘mother of all [ possilbly the egyptian goddess Hapthor, and a snake which communicates to human
[02/12/2012 12:21 PM] Corona Anatine: the menstual/fertility symbolism being traceable morevoer from the palaeoloithic right through to the historic period in eurpean art and literature
[02/12/2012 12:22 PM] Corona Anatine: [ i will have to add some images here on the fianl notecard as web links
[02/12/2012 12:24 PM] Corona Anatine: the connection with European palaeolithic art being seen at Abri Pataud where “a large limestone block, touched with red and black paint is topped with the incised and carved image of a vulva, from which descends a serpentine figure carved in 8 cumulative sections
[02/12/2012 12:26 PM] Corona Anatine: possibly also related to this theme are some of the scenes n the golden horn from Gallehus
[02/12/2012 12:26 PM] Corona Anatine: [unlcear what my notes mean here so i will type them sic]
[02/12/2012 12:27 PM] Corona Anatine: showing snake , water horeshoe fish coil and horse synbolism [inter alia]
[02/12/2012 12:27 PM] Corona Anatine: the significance of horse symbolism will be shown in due course
[02/12/2012 12:28 PM] Corona Anatine: ok that was ‘c’
[02/12/2012 12:28 PM] Corona Anatine: D representative art
[02/12/2012 12:28 PM] Corona Anatine: Red ochre as mentyioned was also used for cave surface decoration
[02/12/2012 12:29 PM] Corona Anatine: five main colours were available as far as is known
[02/12/2012 12:29 PM] Corona Anatine: red [43.7% ]
[02/12/2012 12:29 PM] Corona Anatine: black [48%]
[02/12/2012 12:29 PM] Corona Anatine: yellows /browns [5.3% ] and
[02/12/2012 12:30 PM] Corona Anatine: white [rare]
[02/12/2012 12:30 PM] Corona Anatine: most cave art was songle colour
[02/12/2012 12:30 PM] Corona Anatine: bi and polychrome only accounting for some 3%
[02/12/2012 12:31 PM] Corona Anatine: because so many theories have been fomulatedconcerning this art
[02/12/2012 12:31 PM] Corona Anatine: all of which probably contain some element of the truth for some at least of the art
[02/12/2012 12:32 PM] Corona Anatine: and because this activity spanned some 25,000 years starting circa 35k bp
[02/12/2012 12:32 PM] Corona Anatine: it is very unlikley that all of it represents ritual of a magico-religious purpose
[02/12/2012 12:33 PM] Corona Anatine: studies of Australian ethnic art reinforces this idea
[02/12/2012 12:34 PM] Corona Anatine: Some of the painting being full of sacred power and dangerous to touch or even for soem groups [ other gender to artist] to see
[02/12/2012 12:34 PM] Corona Anatine: while other art was just for its won sake
[02/12/2012 12:35 PM] Corona Anatine: 11% of palaeolithic art seems to have a clear ‘hunting magic’ connection
[02/12/2012 12:35 PM] Corona Anatine: so can be quickly passed by
[02/12/2012 12:36 PM] Corona Anatine: Other art seems to have deeper and probably magical symbolism
[02/12/2012 12:36 PM] Corona Anatine: possibly connected with ancestors/shamen
[02/12/2012 12:37 PM] Corona Anatine: and/or shamanic style religions and initiation ceremonies
[02/12/2012 12:37 PM] Corona Anatine: several facets of the art suggest magical symbolism and function.
[02/12/2012 12:38 PM] Corona Anatine: i) the overlaying of images suggests it was the act of paintin g which was important, rather than the image itself
[02/12/2012 12:39 PM] Corona Anatine: Palimpsesting occurring even when nearby surfaces were left untouched
[02/12/2012 12:39 PM] Corona Anatine: indicating that the shape of the surface also had siginificance
[02/12/2012 12:40 PM] Corona Anatine: soem surfaces ebing part of the depiction where natural shaopes in the rock are used for eyes etc
[02/12/2012 12:40 PM] Corona Anatine: ii) the use of rock surfaces that are difficult of access
[02/12/2012 12:41 PM] Corona Anatine: soem being made on surfaces tat would have been deep withoin caves
[02/12/2012 12:41 PM] Corona Anatine: iii) the fact that ‘inner’ cave sites rarely show evidence of frequnet visits
[02/12/2012 12:42 PM] Corona Anatine: although the exact relationship between a site and the distance from paleo habitation is difficult to prove because of possible changes in the cave systems and its access points
[02/12/2012 12:43 PM] Corona Anatine: 1 the occasional examples of possible ‘notational ‘ decoration
[02/12/2012 12:43 PM] Corona Anatine: possibly relating to lunar symbolism
[02/12/2012 12:44 PM] Corona Anatine: the phases of the moon probably being the principal means of tiem measurement then availble
[02/12/2012 12:44 PM] Corona Anatine: [ or it could mean something totally different of course]
[02/12/2012 12:45 PM] Corona Anatine: or perhaps the numbers are just the result of chance
[02/12/2012 12:45 PM] Corona Anatine: and the mere fact of lunar phase recording does not automatically mean there is any magical connection
[02/12/2012 12:46 PM] Corona Anatine: however the connection seems likley given its assocaitions
[02/12/2012 12:46 PM] Corona Anatine: 2 the presence of geometric shapes and designs
[02/12/2012 12:47 PM] Corona Anatine: there is a vast amount of this sort of art Possibly as important as the images of animals etc
[02/12/2012 12:47 PM] Corona Anatine: or perhaps it was even more important
[02/12/2012 12:48 PM] Corona Anatine: there images are strongly reminiscent of phospenes
[02/12/2012 12:48 PM] Corona Anatine: such Entoptic impressions are sugestive of the use of hallucinogens
[02/12/2012 12:49 PM] Corona Anatine: and i will stop there as a good plave to break

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