Prehistoric man went to the movies, say researchers
Sunday 04 July 2010
Prehistoric man enjoyed a primitive version of cinema, according to Austrian and British researchers, who are currently seeking to recreate these ancient visual displays.
Rock engravings from the Copper Age found all over Europe in remote, hidden locations, indicate the artwork was more than mere images, researchers from Cambridge University and Sankt Poelten's university of applied sciences (FH) in Austria believe.
"The cliff engravings... in our opinion are not just pictures but are part of an audiovisual performance," Frederick Baker of Cambridge University's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology said in a statement Tuesday.
"There was still no moving image but (the pictures) created sequences like in animation... this was not just a treat for the eyes but also for the ears, as these rock engravings are especially found in locations with particular echoes.
"In this sense, the rock engravings are not just static images but pictures that created a story in the mind of the viewer - just like at the cinema," said Baker.
Cambridge University and FH Sankt Poelten have now launched a "Prehistoric Picture Project" with Weimar's Bauhaus university in Germany to recreate these films, using computer technology to establish the sequence of images and animate them like in a cartoon.
The "movies," dating back to 4000 to 1000 BC, often depict fights, dances or hunts, but interestingly never show death and rarely portray women, the project's coordinators said.
The project is being conducted in Valcamonica, in Italy's northern Lombardy region, where the highest concentration of such engravings - some 100,000 pictures - can be found.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts