Aquatank wrote:I'm not saying the ancient art was sexual fantasies, but while I was walking today I wondered if the shift towards the pantheons and such was a philosophical-theological by groups that were trying to find got fed up with rituals that might have been becoming more hedonistic: pleasures of the Spirit vs pleasures of the Flesh sort of thing.
Oh yeah, I know you weren't saying that, however percival was suggesting more in paleolithic times that statues such as that of the Venus could be more physical adornment than anything, which I do not believe. Although it doesn't look like percival is even around the BV anymore.
And some of the art could have possible been sexual fantasies, however not how we would perceive them in modern contexts. I think you are right about there being a philosophical influence in the transformation of many of the rituals and their meaning (if thats what you were meaning to say). Even in Ancient Greek from the worshipping of gods and goddesses, I think many things were transformed by what was later written.
I've done a bit more reading on the statues that are more paleolithic, and I believe I read that in neolithic times, a figure physically similar to that of the Venus one, 'Dobrogea the goddess of fertility'...had even more dramatic physical characteristics.
I was reading an insert from a Reichel Dolmatoff book, whom states that the father penis and mother vulva were the original shamans.- But I do not believe that was the Upper Paleolithic regions, and I could not find any further information on that. Very interesting to me though. I think paleolithic people were primitive in the fact that their physical expressions were more microcosms, yet of a much larger spiritual superstructure, that most modern minds are not capable of understanding, as today physical and spiritual manifestations are of more equal value in eyes sight.
One hypothesis I read was that these paleolithic figures could have been used to stretch hymens open in woman hood initiations...and although I doubt that, it was still one of the more rare possibilities. I would like to believe with some of the others, that entrance into dwellings and caves were seen as entrance into more of a spiriutal realm, like an axis mundi.
Even today Native Americans believe the Lodge to be symbolism for the womb, that of a woman and mother earths, which is sacred. Also reminds me of Delphi from Greece which is translated to 'womb', 'mother earth' etc which is a axis mundi. With the axis mundi symbols and appearance taking place in pretty much every culture in the world, I'd like to think these figures like that of the female figures were more a microcosm and one of the most earliest physical manifestations of the axis mundi symbolism which represented the connection to life, even on a cosmic level. Some of the arts depicting women in paleolithic times are thought to show the significance of the power of womanhood, not just motherhood, I really believe that, along with the fact that there are far less of these figures impregnated.
And with almost all of the earlier figures having no legs or arms, it reminded me (many axis mundis are depicted as trees and such in later times) of a more microcosm, that of the female reproductive system,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray34.png http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray589.png
and even far more of a microcosm, the fertilization of an egg. Along with a female pronucleus. http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2004-05/1085534032.Ge.2.jpg
The point is, I think the physical representations of these figures
are much more than what anyone has yet suggested they spiritually meant...and the shapes of these figures, can be seen throughout many other physical representations.
Just like I know some archaelogists are not always sure if it is female or male that some of these figures are, because male organs can appear much the same, like the frenulum and urethral opening. I think these figures suggest a portal of spiritual importance, very much so. Maybe that sounds way out there to most people but portals come in endless amounts of symbolism, and why not start at the very center of the Human Body.
In some cave art, umbillica cords are depicted coming out of women with scenes in which animals are also in, you know what possible fantasy could that be? Ok kidding, but really.
There were obvious significance to these things while some would like to believe almost all cave art did not have a sense of physical reality, although their spiritual beliefs I'd like to believe were much more radical. They had to work harder spiritually to physically manifest things. Which makes me more prone to believe that anything at that time that was physically manifested, objects/art and otherwise had great spiritual meaning attatched to it regardless if it appeared to have a simple physical use. Like some of the hunting tools. That time period I see they really exerted their imagination. Native Americans to this day keep the little parts of the cord, and hold it in a medicine bag, as it is viewed as spiritual protection and physical health for the childs future. Well I just wanted to add some more of my own thoughts on the figures like the one of Venus.
The church layouts, are what I term a survival. Survivals are interesting because most times the symbology got lost, and it just becomes the "traditional" way of doing this or that.
I think alot of symbology did get lost, although I think alot of it is still here, yet we continually change 'how' we do things, along with 'why' we do them. Although the church layout is definitely a survival, now I see more of what you mean, less tainted like? Although most people are completely unaware of why a church would have such a layout, so in reality its physically survived more.
A pit is dug in the winter and a drainage ditch is made in the rest of the year, perhaps even both at times.
Thats what I couldn't figure out, if both could be used at times, and I seriously did not know that the ground of igloos were dug out. Of course the ground would have to be cleared out.