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Shaman: Inside the Paleolithic Mind

4 Dec 2013, 02:40 UTC
Shaman: Inside the Paleolithic Mind
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

There were some amazing artists in France 30,000 years ago or so, judging by the incredible paintings discovered in 1994 on the rock walls of the famous Chauvet Caves. Culturally speaking, 30,000 years is a long time, but in biological evolutionary terms, it's a mere blink of the eye. The people who painted in those caves were genetically and probably mentally just like you and me. What would those ancient artists and their relatives and friends have been like? I suppose no one knows for sure, but thanks to "science fiction" author Kim Stanley Robinson, I feel like I have a few insights into what they and their environments may have been like. Probably a lot like us. I even looked over the shoulder of one of them as he created the panel above, deciding what to draw, and how to depict the animals' motions and even emotional states. Until all the lamps went out...I just finished KSR's latest book, Shaman, and as with most of his books, I'm impressed by the many threads of human life that he manages to collect and connect in one book. I think of Robinson as more of an anthropological fiction writer than a ...

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