Monday, March 05, 2012
Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.
Jacquetta Hawkes’ The Atlas of Early Man [St/ Martin’s Press, NY, 1976] presents her views on the Çatal Hüyük peoples (covered in an earlier post here).
Ms. Hawkes, in her splendidly illustrated book, marvels at the beauty of the Çatal Hüyük art, and writes that “…the most memorable manifestations are painted vultures with vast wings, their hooked and feathered beaks pecking at little headless human bodies":
Her book’s art reproductions also included this statue found at Eridu, Mesopotamia from the al-Ubaid period [circa 4000 B.C.]:
What are we to make of the Çatal Hüyük “little people” or the Eridu “alien”?
Do we accept the idea that primitive artists, like their modern counterparts, created imaginary figures and representations which belie the reality that encompassed them?
That is, did primitive peoples visualize, in their minds, what they depicted? And why, considering the vicissitudes of their existence, did they portray the images they did?
Do peoples under stress slip into psychotic-like reveries, which they lay down on walls or as sculpted works?
The Çatal Hüyüks were obsessed with placing murals on their walls; murals that contained images of death, leopards, and vultures eating headless, little people.
And the peoples of Eridu reproducing amongst their realistic art…
a piece (further above) that looks an awful lot like the beings described in UFO encounters.
What causes such transformations – from the real to the “unreal” by Neolithic cultures that had stresses more pertinent that the distained stresses of the modern artist?
There are clues to something in early art – something more than febrility or creative posturings.
But what could that be?
An actual representation of something unearlthly? Perhaps.
Or a neurological glitch that is intrinsic to human kind, and could even be called “Original Sin” should one want to bring Augustine’s views into the topic.