I’ve always felt at home in the past. For after all, what is the present except an endless chain of memories? Some of them are translated into stone. We are all the inheritors of those memories, and we look after them as best we can. All this ,so we can pass on their revelation to the future.
A lot of us spend our days talking about are. I doubt very many of us are prepared to lay down our lives for it. We can spend a lot of time debating what civilization is or isn’t, but when it’s opposite shows up in all its brutality and cruelty and intolerance and lust for destruction, we know what civilizations is, we know it from the shock of its imminent loss as a mutilation on the body of our humanity.
The record of human history brims over with the rage to destroy. But it’s also imprinted with the opposite instinct, to make things that go beyond the demands of food and shelter, things that make us see the world and our place in it in a different light. We are the art-making animal and this is what we have made.
THE SECOND MOMENT OF CREATION by Simon Schama
South Africa’s Cape Coast
Africa, where Homo sapiens first evolved about 200,000 years ago.
evidence of human habitation strentching back around 100,000 years.
A piece of red ochre, a mineral naturally rich in iron, etched in a diamond pattern一块刻有钻石形花纹的赭石was discovered,77000 years old.---发现最早的装饰性图案the oldest deliberately decorative marks ever discovered.
Design announces the beginning of culture.
EI Castillo Cave, Spain
Hand Stencils (c.37,000 BCE) signalling from a very long way off, but this long-distance greeting somehow makes us bond with the makers of this because they establish a presence that is palpably alive. (遥远的哭声？)
Hand stencils like these have been found in caves as far apart as Indonesia and Patagonia.
Undeniably, these hand stencils do what nearly all art that would follow would aspire to.
First, they want to be seen by others, and then they want to endure beyond the life of the maker.
In northern Spain, extraordinary paintings of bison野牛壁画（毕加索喜欢画牛，可能源自这些壁画，但没有证据证明他看过,coincidence?）
有壁画的地方可能是教堂或者寺庙。在冰河世纪壁画有仪式的功能，人们到这里来祈祷祭拜并把场景记录在壁画中。It ought not to be seen as art. Though, of course, religion has been a primary purpose of art.冰河时期壁画不应被看做艺术，但宗教是艺术的最初目的。
非洲Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa壁画里出现了人,但欧洲出现了三维的人像
The fragments of this lion-man, carved from mammoth ivory, were found in a German cave made between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago. They remained an unsolved puzzle for 30 years before archaeologists realized that they formed a single figure.
Picasso bought a copy of Venus of Lespugue,《莱斯皮盖的维纳斯》and kept it in his studio all his life.
La Dame de Brassempouy《布拉桑普伊女士》
Found in a cave in south-west France in 1892,between 22,000 and 25,000 years old.
We have the revelation of the human face. Now we are not supposed to say, us amateurs in this field, we’re not supposed to talk about art, we’re not supposed to talk about things like the birth of a refined sensibility. With this tiny piece from Brassempouy, it seems to me that we have, right in front of us, the dawn of the idea of beauty. (美学概念诞生前的黎明amazing！！！)
The standard of Ur, Mesopotamia(c. 2500 BCE) (乌尔军旗)
The Ram in the Thicket Ur,Mesopotamia(c,2600 BCE) (灌木丛中的公羊)
Bull and Acrobat Minoan Crete(c.1600-1450 BCE) (米诺斯文明克里特岛 公牛和跳牛者)
Combat Agate Sealstone Pylos,Greece(c.1500 BCE) 战斗玛瑙印章 希腊 皮洛斯时代
We see the long hair flowing free that would have been combed before battle. We see a sword lying on the ground exactly like the swords discovered in the grave. This is the first sight scene in all of European art, in all of world art. There are occasional moments of combat and battle. In other cultures but they’re very stylised, but they are flat, they don’t feel like the smash of bone and bronze and metal and the spout of blood, this does.
Abundance of masks
It’s been suggested that some of the masks might have been used in rituals(降灵仪式) by impersonators of the dead.
Civilization is always a balancing act. There may be enemies at the gates, there may be enemies within the walls, and sometimes the very landscape and climate in which a culture grows must be conquered.
All civilizations want what they can’t have—the conquest of time. They build higher and grander to escape mortality. It never works. There’s always an ending. Cities with their markets, temples, palaces and tombs are simply abandoned and that great leveler, Mother Nature, closes in, strangling the place with vegetation, covering it with desert sand. It might seem, that it’s all for nothing, but that’s entirely wrong. All these ruins, all these remains are monuments to human creativity, human ambitions, human hopes. Monuments to shaping hands and shaping minds. Monuments to humanity itself.