Tuesday, 11 April 2017

I is for Ice Age Art …



Eye Spy with my little Eye has been difficult to track down a suitable “I” for the A-Z …

The Rhine - Danube routes from the Black Sea
north to Rotterdam: with the connecting canal ..
it is in this area that many of the German
caves with Ice Age Art are found


Two years ago I went to the British Museum to their exhibition on Ice Age Art … it was packed – but I had a good look round, noted a few interesting snippets and bought the book – thankfully!




Lascaux Cave Art


Our scientists have a much better idea of our time in Europe 40,000 to 10,000 years ago … at the time of the Ice Age, when Britain was uninhabitable …


… it was the time humans were evolving quite fast and taking note of their surroundings – from which we can glean much today … as too their community life.


Ice Age Flutes


Music was important … flutes have been found made of bird bone and ivory … toys too – there was time for the little ones.




Small sculptures of animals have been found and these with the cave art … give us an early indication of the changes that have occurred to the creatures we know today …


Small sculptures


… so we can see that natural selection occurred and as we know from European and British records, we can then see how animals have been bred to adapt to the needs of each era.




Water Bird in flight or diving
From this Ice Age Art we note that some creatures provided food and raw materials, while we see the predators that endangered or competed with our ancestors.


Zaraysk Bison carved from
Mammoth Bone




The bestiary includes birds, bison, mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, horses, and reindeer … while the predatory creatures found are lions, other big cats, bears …






Mammoth drawing i Rouffignac Cave
So we can see over time that nature, and man’s ingenuity have ‘shaped’ animals into the types we find useful today … but we now realise we need to conserve others, so that their qualities are available when conditions and requirements change …


That is I for Ice Age Art that Identifies and Indicates Important species that are found today … from Aspects of British County Rare Breeds …


Counties with the letter I … 
(note some Counties have been retired!, or amended over historical local government … but some I’ve included)
England:  Isle of Ely; Isle of Wight
Northern Ireland: None
Scotland:  Inverness-shire
Wales:  None

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

50 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I am probably going to sound like a cracked record here, but why oh why wasn't history taught like this when I was at school. We got dates, rulers, battles and I at least felt no connection. If we had learned about food, predators, toys - and how the common person lived, history may have claimed me (and others) a lot earlier...

Sophie Duncan said...

Talking of art and bone flutes - have you read Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson, because he talks about bone flutes and wonders on why man worked so hard on things like that when survival was at stake, but also looks at how working on little trifles like music actually led to a lot of more 'practical' inventions.
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

A very interesting piece. Just love museums!

Absolutely Amazing Alliteration

Bob Scotney said...

An interesting approach and subjects that we were never taught. The nearest that I could have got to 'I' would have been Ichthyosaur but they are extinct of course.

Gattina said...

I have seen a similar exhibition here in the Museum of Science, I found it very Interesting.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I never realised there were woolly rhinos!

I've been loving your posts so far :-)

Susan Scott said...

Incredible thank you - those ice-age flutes are ingenious and beautiful. Imaginations was alive and well in those times.

Out on the prairie said...

Natural history has always amazed me. It is hard to think of early man developing such amazing articles.I have decided our ice age of the year is over and tilled my vegetable garden.

Murees Dupé said...

Beautiful art. I always find human history interesting. To see how far we have actually come. To learn more about the people that lived before us. The wonderful species of animals in existence then.

Cathy Kennedy said...

It's interesting to look back on how things once were which is totally intriguing but I'm thankful for living in modern times. Excellent "I" post!

Curious as the Cathy presents Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Letter "I" for Iris!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – I’m very happy to have cracked record comments like this – just delighted my posts are of value and appreciated – thank you … Like you I found history and education rather late in life …

@ Sophie – I haven’t read Steven Johnson’s book – but I’ve added it to my Wish List … and made a link note back here. My guess would be they couldn’t do anything else … perhaps it was too cold, or snowed up and they had time to amuse themselves, the little ones etc – also by making those sorts of things – presumably they were practising too … and confirming what you mention in your post …

@ Duncan – thank you … I love visiting the different exhibitions

@ Bob – well I was trying to stick to Rare Breeds – but at “I” … I failed … and yes I could have used Ichthyosaur (if I’d thought about it) … but the Ice Age Art showed some of our early rare breeds … and I had this idea up my sleeve in case of need!

@ Gattina – I’m sure Brussels has similar exhibitions and it was really interesting …

@ Annalisa – the way animals have adapted, some surviving, some not is fascinating … oh thank you so much – appreciate your thought …

@ Susan – it provided a different take on Rare Breeds … and gives a different interlude in the telling of the A-Zs. As you say ingenious and beautiful, as well as their imaginations being alive and well …

@ Steve – I have to admit it’s only since I started blogging that my ‘wings’ have spread to history, social history, geology and any edutainment I can find! Well done on tilling your veggie garden ready for planting … yes I think winter is fading – thankfully!

@ Murees – good to see you – and life in all its facets is fascinating isn’t it – and all the amazing ingenuity of earth science … wonderful …

@ Cathy – good to meet you – it’s a surprise seeing how much we recognise from hundreds of thousands of millennia ago – but yes I think I’m grateful I’m living now!

Thanks so much everyone for visiting … lovely to see you all – cheers Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

It's amazing how well made those wooden artefacts are considering the limited tools available. The mammoth drawing is very detailed too. It's great that so many items still exist that allow us to piece the history together.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Humans advanced and evolved so quickly during that period - developing agriculture, tools, domesticating animals. The changes may not be as fast as they've been happening lately, but they were certainly just as world-shaking.

FinnBadger said...

I think cave paintings are incredible - the first abstract art!

Phillip | I is for IUOMA

Michelle Wallace said...

Beautiful and simply incredible!
Woolly rhinos? That's something.
Humans were highly evolved at that stage. Makes you wonder.

DeeDee said...

Lovely read & beautiful pictures

A Peice Of My Life

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hello again, Hilary!
Enjoyed your post today, as Ice Age is one of my most favorite animation series. I was waiting for when the mammoth would show up in your post! :)
In the movie series also, Manny makes a lot of creative stuff for his daughter Peaches.
Happy AtoZing!
Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com

M. Denise C. said...

I am sure that was a fabulous exhibit to have seen, Hilary. Reminds me of those books by Jean Auel--Clan of the Cave Bear, etc. I enjoyed those stories of early humans and the animals they encountered.

DMS said...

You really should teach a history course for kids! I learn so much here and wish I was taught in such an interesting way. :)

Amazing to look at all the art from SOOOOO long ago. I love music and can't imagine life without it. I liked seeing the flutes from way back when. Art does help us learn so much about life before us. Thanks for sharing about art from the Ice Age. :)
~Jess

Jean Davis said...

That looks like a great exhibit. It's great to see that they made time for art and music while also trying to survive with all those predators running wild.

Emily Bloomquist said...

Such an interesting post, Hilary.

We have some flutes almost exactly like those in the photos in Ecuador, played by some very talented musicians.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Iguanas at our bedroom window

Lenny Lee said...

hi grandblogmum!
wow! another interesting post. for sure there’s so much to learn about man and animals for the ice age. the cave paintings are really neat. i was surprised by the flutes and knowing they had toys so long ago. cool post!

Joanne said...

I spy another great post. I'd like to browse your personal library. You must have the most Interesting Items.

bazza said...

I really like cave paintings. They tell us so much about the people who made them. I think early Humans and even Neanderthals were much more sophisticated then has been generally supposed until recently.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s unlikely Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Deborah Weber said...

Another delightful and informative post Hilary. It's so incredible to me how things have evolved and yet hold on to core threads. Life and history is fascinating!

Sharon M Himsl said...

The cave drawings have always fascinated me. They are proof our ancestors really were there. I am thankful for all of the scientists who researched and made this information available to us!

Jacqui Murray said...

I'm just reading about this era so your post is both appropriate and fascinating. This kind of visualization tells us so much not only about early man's world but his developing brain.

Fun to browse through this post.

John Holton said...

I agree with Elephant's Child. I love history, but not the way they teach it in school.

Toni said...

Excellent 'I' post. Interesting. Much like John Holton, I love history.

Keith's Ramblings said...

Illuminating and informative once again. I visited some ancient cave paintings in Zimbabwe a few months ago and was blown away by them.

Another day in Amble Bay!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Flutes 40,000 years ago? Man was making music and playing with his kids before he got 'civilised' and so majorly into destroying everything around him ...sigh. Another Invaluably Informative Item from Inimitable you :)

Nila
Madly-in-Verse

Rhodesia said...

Well done Hilary another really interesting post that I have learnt a lot from. Keep up the good work Diane

Courtney Turner said...

Very cool. (Oh, maybe that's an "ice age" pun) Read a book - a theory about how the ice ages may have contributed to the development of intelligence, having to cope with cold weather and lack of food. Maui Jungalow

Susan Kane said...

Love the time-line shown by evidence collected! Would love to visit that display.

Jo said...

That would have been an interesting exhibition Hilary. Stone Age art is fascinating isn't it? I have always been interested in the art found in French caves.

bookworm said...

It's amazing to think that some scientists are trying to "de extinct" certain animals, such as the wooly mammoth. Some climate experts believe that bringing back mammoths might help with global warming. As they say "It's complicated" but they honestly believe the mammoth would help the ecology of the tundra areas of the extreme north. The Unknown Journey Ahead agingonthespectrum.blogspot.com

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

That is truly original art.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nick – yes … it was fascinating to see the exhibition and as you so rightly say – how much they could make with so little available. Their cave art seems to be exceptional wherever we find it … and the jigsaw puzzle of life can be worked out …

@ CD - I must look into the time differences between our evolving and that of animals etc … certainly changes were disruptive as well as helpful. Lots to think about here …

@ Phillip – you’re so right cave paintings are amazing – and not so abstract either … but the first type of art …

@ Michelle – the post showed early man at his best … artistic, musical, social … etc – and as you say fairly highly evolved …

@ DeeDee – thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos …

@ Chicky – so good to see you; I suppose Ice Age Art is now an animation form ... hadn’t thought of that! Well the woolly mammoth has gone extinct … so he’s a very rare breed –though bones are found all around the UK – not many, but in different places – even down here. I don’t know the movie series you’re talking about I’m afraid – no children: has limited my tv knowledge!

@ Denise – it was an amazing exhibition, I’d have liked to have gone twice – but the book is a good reference tool. Over the years of blogging I’ve been reminded about the Jean Auel books … and I’ve added them to my Wish List … so that I get to read …

@ Jess – thanks so much – my teaching would be so scattered … but it seems I missed my vocation – I get told here, and when I’m out and about that a teacher I should be

It is extraordinary what can be worked out from ancient artefacts. I love music too – but my knowledge is pretty limited, as it doesn’t come naturally to me – but flutes from wing bones … now we understand how birds fly. Delighted you enjoyed the post and information therein …

@ Jean - it was a brilliant exhibition. It’s interesting to think how they managed their day … I suppose if they had enough – then they could relax somewhat … and they had fire to keep the predators at bay …

@ Emily – many thanks … South American music is special and very different – I love hearing it … I’m sure the tribes cast flutes in a similar fashion to those shown here … just by instinct …

@ Lenny – lovely to see you – history is fascinating to see – how much is the same, yet different … and yes music and toys … it was a great exhibition to see …

@ Joanne – thank you so much … the library here is very eclectic and covers a range of subjects …

@ Bazza – it’s fascinating to see art and artefacts from millennia gone by – and we’re still finding things … which is amazing. I’m sure you’re right – that early man was pretty sophisticated … and had similar ideas to us … art, music, social interaction ..

Sara C. Snider said...

Ice age children's toys, how fantastic. Just goes to show that music and art are in our bones and blood. It's who we are and how we make sense of the world. I find this a comforting thought.

A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deborah – so glad you enjoyed the post – as you say ‘life history’ is a fascinating subject …

@ Sharon – I’ve seen cave drawings in Namibia … but not in France, except via recorded versions – as you say at least we have proof of our early existence- and like you thankful that others have the patience to research and make their findings public …

@ Jacqui – I know … this is an area of interest to you … so glad it’ll be useful to some degree – and I certainly am a visual person – I like to see things then I can understand better …

@ John – many thanks … I do like to put a few things into each post and put them into a degree of context – we need the layers to understand …

@ Toni – good to see and meet you here … I’m glad the history interested you ...

@ Keith – I never saw the cave paintings in Zimbabwe – but have seen them in Namibia … I can’t draw for love or money – so any art totally fascinates me – cave drawing is an art in itself … extraordinary talent …

@ Nila – it does seem incredible what has been found and what scientists can tell us about Man all those years ago … yes now of course anything of artistic value – can be destroyed so easily by man’s other technical advances – thank you for your alliterative comment!

@ Diane – appreciate your comment …

@ Courtney – could be an ice age pun couldn’t it. I find it interesting that as the Ice Age spread south, so man and animal moved away southwards if they could … and weren’t caught without a way out – i.e. the sea or leaving it too late …

@ Susan – we’re getting more time lines given to us at exhibitions and displays –it certainly helps understand – the British Museum do put on brilliant events …

@ Jo – it was a really good show and I certainly couldn’t resist going up to attend … I’d love to see the art in some of European caves … sometime!

@ Bookworm – they are trying to bring back some of the extinct animals to life – if they have sufficient suitable DNA – whether it’ll work or not – remains to be seen. Interesting to think that woolly mammoths could be brought back to life and would help – I’m somewhat sceptical about that … but – we never know … interesting thought …

@ Arleen – it is exactly that … original art …

@ Sara – a good point about music and art being in our bones and blood, and showing it is who we are and how we make sense of the world … it is comforting – I’d still love to know how the brain works! One day – not in my life time I think …

Cheers to you all – thanks so much for visiting and enjoy art and 'rare breeds' from the Ice Ages … Hilary

Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar said...

This was like a museum visit online. I loved it, Hilary.

Claire Annette said...

This art is so interesting. I love those instruments. I'm intrigued and want to learn more about ice art.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Ice Age discoveries reveal much about evolution and natural selection. Your post today, Hilary, also turned my thoughts to the unexplained, where it all began . . . and how.

Sue Bursztynski said...

A friend of mine and her husband used to sell recorders and they knew someone who took a prehistoric bird bone and made a flute of it. So when it was played you could imagine the sounds people would have heard in those days.

My history classes at school were a mixture. Some were dull, mostly they weren't. I remember having a crush on my Year 7 history teacher, an attractive young man who told us stuff I later remembered and used in a children's book I wrote about archaeologists. My Year 11 Modern History teacher shared her memories of pre-WWII Italy, where she had hard to resist urges to draw moustache and glasses on huge public pictures of Mussolini. You couldn't buy that sort of history lesson!

Liz A. said...

It amazes me that stuff from that long ago can still be around.

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

Oh wow, I wish I had seen that exhibit. I am so fascinated by ice age art. Only yesterday I learned about a cave somewhere in Nevada with amazing drawings inside.

As a side note, have you watched a lot of time team in the past? They have had some magnificent ice age digs, where they also found a flute I think!


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(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Have a blessed day

Sylvia @ The Creative Life

Ann Bennett said...

I have always enjoyed ancient history such as this.

Debbie D. said...

Fascinating subject, Hilary! I'm glad to know music and child's play were part of ancient cultures.

Deniz Bevan said...

Hmm, no I'm wondering if there are any recordings of music played using these instruments, or replicas...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Cynthia – that’s great and am delighted that’s the way you feel as you read through …

@ Claire – excellent if this has led you off to understand a little more about the art that was around in the Ice Age …

@ Gail – yes we are finding out more and more about evolution and natural selection … we’re doing a life sciences ‘course’ – on how we arrived and how it all began … it’s fascinating …

@ Sue – thanks so much for letting us know that sounds could come out of bird bone – quite extraordinary isn’t it …

School classes – I wasn’t the brightest at school, so have recently found my love of learning – and thus give my posts a few interesting approaches – which help me remember what I’ve written – and fortunately I can always go back …

@ Liz – yes and they are finding more and more items from further back – and been able to date them …

@ Sylvia – that’s good … especially is this post has reminded you about your interest … I hope you can get to your cave at some stage …

I’ve seen some of the documentaries that have been on tv – and on the Ice Age Art … which is really how I knew about the caves in Europe – they covered 5 or 6 of them … sadly a lot of the European caves have been ‘ransacked’ over the years by humans in earlier times …

@ Ann – that’s good … so pleased to know you enjoyed the post …

@ Debbie – yes life around mother’s knee doesn’t appear to have changed much through the millennia – always music and always play …

@ Deniz – there definitely aren’t any recordings … but I’m sure people will have made music with some of the instruments – Sue mentions that above … so the sound can be heard by us …

Cheers to you all – thanks so much – just glad Ice Age Art entertained you … Hilary