Can you tell what this is? Look closely at the fine details and darks

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This is a blog about a particular rock art. It has been placed in the public domain, so you are free to copy, use and distribute this blog, but not to sell it.

This blog is all about one particular rock art. It is made up of a number of different components, including images and writing. The writing is my own; I wrote it especially for this blog. The images are mostly not my own; I got them from this database (which I also put into the public domain). Some of the images have been cropped and/or enhanced.

These images were originally taken from National Geographic magazines. They are available in the public domain because they were published before 1923. They are now in the public domain because National Geographic ceased publication of these magazines in December 2008, which means that their copyrights have now expired under US law (the legal details are a bit complicated, but that’s the basic idea).

I did not alter the original images beyond cropping or enhancing them in order to make them easier to see or understand. I did not remove an image from its original context or create a new context for it; rather I tried to present it as it was presented when it appeared in its original context (this may have involved combining several separate images

According to the Internet Archeology website, this is one of the most famous rock art in Asia: a picture of an animal drawn on a stone, found in China. But look closely at it. It is not really a picture of an animal; it is just a collection of lines and shapes.

How do I know that? I didn’t see it with my own eyes, so I can’t claim any direct knowledge. Instead I’m relying on what the experts told me. Unfortunately those experts disagree with each other, so I don’t have a complete and coherent story. But here is what I think happened:

Some anthropologists (people who study different kinds of humans) think this rock art was made by someone who lived in the Paleolithic era (that’s thousands of years ago). They say it represents a natural object that was already famous to people living there then: maybe an unusual tree or a strange kind of animal.

More recent researchers have looked at the rock more closely and realized that it shows no evidence of being carved by human hands. The marks look like they were made not by tools but by some kind of natural process, like water erosion or wind erosion or dirt blown around by the wind. These scientists say that what we think is “drawing

Rock art is an important part of the archaeological record. Rock art includes any kind of drawings, paintings, and carvings on rock surfaces, not only cave art. It occurs all over the world, in many different times and cultures.

The most famous examples are in Western Europe, in Spain, France and the UK. This is because of the work done by 19th century scholars such as John Lubbock, but also because of their location: areas where there are frequent rains and thus a high risk of erosion and corrosion. In fact, some of the best preserved examples (in Farasan Islands in Saudi Arabia) were discovered more recently by helicopter pilots scouting for rock art sites to photograph from above — they were hidden under lava flows made since the last rainstorm!

Truly ancient rock art is becoming rarer to find because it’s being eroded away. Many thousands of years ago rock art was everywhere across Europe; now only the most durable examples survive.

The first thing to know about this painting is that it’s not a painting. It’s a photograph of an engraving on the wall of a cave in France.

The second thing you should know is that this is one of the most famous photos ever taken, and if you’re reading this, you probably already recognize it:

The photo became famous because of its subject matter. The dappled light on the horses and the tumbling mane on the horse at the center made it look so alive that people thought it couldn’t possibly be real. (It was real; in fact, I just showed it to my wife, and she immediately said “oh, so that’s what they were trying to do.”)

But another reason for its fame is that for years many people didn’t believe it was real, either. They thought it must have been faked somehow. In fact, I suspect some people still think so; when I posted it on Facebook just now, someone asked me where I got it from.

This isn’t too surprising; after all, a lot of famous art has been faked. But even among people who know better, this photo carries a strange mystique because so many people have seen an image like this–in fact, something close

The abstract art above is an example of abstract expressionism done by the Australian Aborigines. This type of art is not widely known, and you will find few people who have ever seen it, but it is nevertheless very valuable. I’m going to tell you why.

The first reason why this art is valuable is that it has been made by a group of people who have no contact with the modern world, or any other world for that matter. It is absolutely unique, and you can be sure that there are lots more like it out there waiting to be uncovered. The Aborigines have lived in isolation for thousands of years, and they don’t leave written records, so we are lucky that their artwork has survived all this time without being destroyed or copied.

Now, some might argue that because they haven’t discovered concrete yet, they don’t deserve to benefit from our technology and should remain isolated forever and ever. But this is just a silly argument: they did invent a kind of paint out of ochre pigment mixed with animal fat, which seems to be pretty advanced for cavemen! And if it is OK for us to learn how to do something useful from them (like grinding pigment), then surely it would be OK for them to learn about things

In the Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras, there was no such thing as a single “Ice Age.” The climate changed frequently and drastically, with temperature shifts of 10º-20ºC and rainfall changes of 20%-50% in a few years.

What were the social consequences? We don’t know, but we can guess. They show up in the art.

How do you read a painting?

The first thing to realize is that it’s not a picture of anything. It’s an abstract work. It’s like a piece of music that doesn’t represent anything outside itself. What it represents is the artist’s experience with the world, or rather, what he thought that experience meant.

It’s hard to read because it’s not a story; it’s not telling you what happened; it doesn’t have much of a plot. It has no main character, unless you think of the artist himself as the main character. But even that isn’t clear because he left no signature and we don’t know who he was. All we can do is interpret his work in the context of what we know about him from other sources.

Tribal people love to talk about their dreams and visions, so we might assume that this was someone’s vision. But even if you believe his vision was an actual journey, there are problems with this kind of direct interpretation, because the artist could be alluding to something else entirely–something we don’t know about. He might have been making a joke or parodying someone else’s vision or prophecy–we’d never know.

So we’re left with little more than general impressions and

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