Religious Beliefs Seen as Basis of Origins of Palaeolithic Art

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The idea that palaeolithic art is based in religious beliefs isn't new. But for years, anthropologists, archaeologists and historians of art understood these artistic manifestations as purely aesthetic and decorative motives. Eduardo Palacio-Pérez, researcher at the University of Cantabria (UC), now reveals the origins of the theory.

This idea appeared at the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century. Up until then, Palaeolithic art had been interpreted as a simple aesthetic and decorative expression.

The history of the discovery and study of this art is long and complex. Palaeolithic art is composed of so-called mobiliary art -pieces of stone, horn and bone sculpted or engraved- that are included within archaeological deposits. These discoveries, that spread through the scientific community from 1864, are dated to the same period as the rest of the archaeological material and there was "practically no doubt about their Palaeolithic origin."

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