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Signs of Consciousness Speculations on the Psychology of Paleolithic Graphics J A Cheyne Part I Introduction and Overview of Signs of Consciousness Graphics in an Iconic Culture Part II Perception and the Interpretation of Signs Venus Figures as Metonymic Icons Peirception and Consciousness The Search for Positive Identification Part III Graphics and the Cultural Lag in the Late-Middle Paleolithic The Role of Technological Developments in the Late Paleolithic Part I Paleolithic Graphic Images Based the evidence accumulated over the last two hundred years we can conclude that graphic activity appears to have begun sometime prior to 33000 BP during the last Ice Age Wrm in the Upper Paleolithic Period Aurignacian through Magdelenian in Europe and reached its apogee during the Solutrean-Magdelanian cultures 2200-10500 The evidence consists images carved scratched etched pecked out andor painted on stone bone ivory horn and antler Portable or mobiliary graphics appears to be somewhat more widespread than parietal graphics cave art found in rock shelters abri shallow recesses and occasionally deep within caves especially in the Dordogne and Arige regions in France and in Cantabrian Spain All such graphic activity is exclusively or virtually exclusively associated with modern Homo sapiens at sites in Africa Australia Middle East and Eastern and Western Europe It is the earliest evidence of humans or any creatures creating traces that are not the residue of instrumental activity such as tool or shelter making butchering or simply the result of walking in soft volcanic ash Since the beginning of graphic activity appears to coincide with the historical vanishing point of language it is tempting to suggest that these graphics may offer clues about early or even the origins of representational activity It is scarcely surprising then that these images have been the subject of intense scrutiny and speculation since their discovery The approach
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