Fragments of the Hunt. Persistence Hunting, Tracking and Prehistoric Art
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Doctoral thesis (monograph) | Defence date: 2017-06-01
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Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 31/2017
AbstractTwo million years ago, our ancestors were running down antelope on the African savanna. Instead of relying on complex weaponry, they relied on endurance and they chased their prey until it died. This process often derailed the hunters’ consciousness into transformation hallucinations. Studying the last hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari Ijäs was able to establish a connection between the hallucinations, trance ceremonies, and the imagery depicted in rock art. Ijäs claims that some of the earliest examples of visual depictions could be explained through the experiences of the persistence hunters. Ijäs has titled the visible evidence as the ‘fragments of the hunt´, which are not just depictions of hunting, but allegories, such as adoration of the animal’s grace, transformation imagery, depictions of tracks, and images of running people. In this multidisciplinary thesis Ijäs covers several fields of inquiry including psychology, archaeology, art history, ethnography and paleoanthropology.
Supervising professorVarto, Juha, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art, Finland
Thesis advisorMäättänen, Pentti, Docent, Aalto University, Finland
prehistoric art, Africa, rock art