My Life as a Neolithic Artist
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My life as a Paleolithic Artist
Life as a Neolithic artist was not easy, For starters, I was not even an artist. To be an artist in the modern terms would mean that I have work to show, or that I am recognized or renowned. For me, it was simpler than that. I lived in the Paleolithic period, it what is today’s, South Africa. I was a hunter-gatherer Australopithecus man who found a pebble resembling a face. Upon showing it to the rest of my clan, they found the resemblance uncanny. For us, that rock meant something and had a symbolism attached to it. For us, the stone said something greater than us.
In a strict sense, I did not think of a date of my discovery but the modern dating methods stated that I found the pebble around 3,000,000 before the Common Era. After I had found it, the stone was rediscovered by Raymond Dart along with my bones. -I really liked that pebble-. Concerning the materials, I must say that I did not use any but my hands when I carried the pebble from the site I found it, to my cave. However, if you ask me the materials of the rock, I would say that it is a pebble of jasperite cobble. The stone shows wear and tear patterns that make it resemble a face. That is why I found it interesting. The pebble is made of Jasper, a rock that is of a reddish color because its iron contents. That is why the face has a red color. Also, I could not say I used any technique because I just found it outside my cave. Nevertheless, if you want to speak about any art, I could say something that the technique is “tear of the elements over the pebble”.
If you asked me, I would say that it is possible that the holes that resemble eyes could have been created by the action of water over the surface of the pebble. Also, the mouth could have been set up because of the action of an abrasive material over the surface of the rock. In a strict sense, we can say that the pebble was created thanks to a subtractive technique which actioned over the stone, creating a figure with face-like features. To me, it represented a face, a symbol of something greater, and bigger. That is why I took it to my cave and showed it to the rest of my kin, who had the same idea as I did and kept the stone as a symbol. In the same way, as I said earlier, I am not an artist, nor would I like to be considered as such. In any case, I am nothing but a discoverer. I was strolling after hunting food and found the stone, upon realizing it resembled a face, I took it to the cave. I was not in the open looking for objects that that looked like symbols, I would say it was a happy coincidence that I found the stone during my hunting trips.
To us, the stone was a symbol, and to be able to recognize it as one was something important, as it means that we were evolving into some other thing. To have symbolic thought is what separates us from animals, and to be able to perceive something as greater, or sacred was the beginning of art and culture.