Sunday, April 1, 2012


Cave drawing of an old man (A) and a modern artist's
rendition, La Marche, France. From Guthrie,
The Nature of Paleolithic Art, p.443.

The largest number of human portraits in Paleolithic art (a rare enough occurrence) have been found in the cave of La Marche, in France. Some of these are on flat slabs of stone called plaques that are covered with a veritable nest of scratched lines. Jean Airvaux teased this image of a bearded face out of the lines on one plaque. Guthrie (2005:90) likened it in his sketch to a Greek portrait of Socrates which he found on display in the Vatican museum. While I like his whimsy, and admire his courage in making this connection at all, I must disagree.

 Charles Darwin by Julia Margaret Cameron, from Wikipedia.

After studying this drawing I believe that I have uncovered the truth of this Paleolithic portrait. The image was obviously made by a shaman (there it is, the “S” word again) who had foreseen this face while in a trance and in communication with the timeless spirit world. When the shaman returns from this trance he is empowered to make predictions of future events and happenings. In this case the shaman has foreseen the future coming of Charles Darwin who was destined to explain the development of human cultures (and that other thing – what was it? Oh yes, the origin of the species) through the process of evolution to the descendants of those Paleolithic people who were unlearned enough to believe that they had been created just as they were.
Old Man from La Marche, From Guthrie,
The Nature of Paleolithic Art, p. 90.        

Charles Darwin,

We know indeed that this all must be true because of the prevalence of the current theory espoused by David Lewis-Williams and others that pretty much links all rock art to the S-word (shamanism). Oh yes, what day is it again - April 1?


Guthrie, R. Dale
2005    The Nature of Paleolithic Art, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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