We Swam, we were fabulous, and we painted, what more do you want?
August 29, 2019 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Go look at the painting, I am incapable of drawing such straight lines. Animals are placed within those lines. It does not look like entire animals though. This is really unique.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:57 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Neanderthals? Water?
Ever since I saw (and absolutely loved) the Discovery Channel's two Mermaid "documentaries" about the Aquatic Ape theory, I have been secretly wishing that it was true.
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 2:47 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not surprised at all. Estuaries, lakes, ponds, streams and streams are great sources of food. Given that sea levels are so much higher now than in the Ice Age, much of the evidence of Neanderthals’ activities has simply disappeared beneath the waves.
posted by haiku warrior at 3:12 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm currently reading a book about the anthropological history of fishing and fisheries throughout history and pre-history and there's a whole chapter on early hominids, neanderthals included. So this article(s) tickled me pink. Glad other people like it!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:48 PM on August 29, 2019

Thanks Homo neanderthalensis!
posted by haiku warrior at 4:23 PM on August 29, 2019

The "first artists" link says the works were deep in caves, which means they needed a light source to see what they were doing — probably torches or fires?
posted by jamjam at 4:43 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Doesn't seem surprising to me that Neanderthals would have at least occasionally eaten fish. Pre historic rivers and lakes would have been loaded with fish. Harvesting would have been relatively easy even if you had nothing more sophisticated than a fire hardened spear.
posted by Mitheral at 10:56 PM on August 29, 2019

I took a class in prehistoric art in college that was really fun and interesting. You would look at a prehistoric work and then try to duplicate it. What we found, time after time, was that what one assumed was easy was usually really, really hard. You might mix that paint only to find it requires an egg emulsifier that requires exact and meticulous heating to incorporate, or that applying the paint required a brush with very specific requirements. Then there's going into caves and seeing that the paintings look totally different under flickering firelight, where all kinds of new perspectival effects emerge. One student made a cowshell necklace and found that to get the right gloss the shells had to be burned within a two degree temperature range on a bunsen burner.
posted by xammerboy at 7:46 AM on August 30, 2019 [8 favorites]

I once had a lovely week at a friend's cabin on Lopez Island in Puget Sound. We dug clams, waded around to bump into crabs, harvested kelp and fished. I ended the week thinking that I was going to be a Pre-Columbian Aborigine the Pacific coast was the place for an easy life. Until I found out about red tides.
posted by Bee'sWing at 2:46 PM on August 30, 2019

Is there any buoyancy analysis on Neanderthals?
posted by bq at 3:15 PM on August 30, 2019

I always could float personally.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:31 PM on August 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

Red tides are a lot more common now than they would have been pre-contact because they are exasperated by global warming and nutrient run off from farming. Besides you could still fish.
posted by Mitheral at 10:04 PM on August 30, 2019

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