I heard a fascinating feature on National Public Radio this afternoon about the discovery of some jewelry made from shells, which dates back some 90,000 years. This led to a discussion on what is apparently known as “The Creative Explosion”- the period when humans first began to produce art in abundance. This art has mainly been discovered in Europe, and dates back around 40,000 years. No-one is sure what caused this “creative explosion”- a time of immense creative fertility which occurred simultaneously in many locations.
One hypothesis is that this may have something to do with the weather being colder than in Africa, where the first human remains- dating back 100,000 years- were found. It had never occurred to me that cultures from colder climates might produce more art than those in warm climates. According to the report, Eskimo art is a prime example of this. To read more about Cro-Magnon man and the creative explosion, click here.
I’ve decided do further research in this fascinating area- so watch this space!