Entertainment Arts Breathtaking cave paintings may have been caused by a lack of oxygen

Breathtaking cave paintings may have been caused by a lack of oxygen

Lack of oxygen might be cause for breathtaking cave paintings

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

NEW YORK — How should we explain strange motifsin prehistoric paintings on the walls of some of Europe’s caves? A recent Israeli study has come up with a surprising theory: the Paleolithic artists responsible for these masterpieces were suffering from a lack of oxygen.

While some 20th-century artists like Pablo Picasso took opium in their quest for inspiration, their Paleolithic ancestors may have adopted a more natural but even more dangerous method to achieve altered states of consciousness: depriving themselves of oxygen. This novel hypothesis has recently been put forward by researchers from the University of Tel-Aviv in a study published in Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture.

The researchers analysed cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period, which have mainly been found in Spain and France. Most of these were painted in particularly narrow caves and passages that the artists would have had to light with torches. However, these torches did not only provide light, they also consumed oxygen in thesurrounding atmosphere to the point where those who were present may well have been suffering from hypoxia: A state of oxygen deprivation that can induce hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.

A deliberate choice

- Advertisement -

Even more surprisingly the study argues that Paleolithic artists were well aware ofthe effects of oxygen deprivation, which they deliberately cultivated in a bid to “maintain their connectedness with the cosmos”. As the researchers put it, “We contend that entering these deep, dark environments was a conscious choice, motivated by an understanding of the transformative nature of an underground, oxygen-depleted space.”

Although the prehistoric artistsprobably did not understand the medical effects of hypoxia, the researchers are wondering if some them did not become accustomed to coping with the low levels of oxygen in some of the caves they decorated. – ETX StudioFollow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Netizens go to town and blast SPH CEO over his ‘take umbrage’ comment

Update: Mr Ng issued an apology on the subject on Saturday (May 8). He told The Straits Times: "I had stood up for SPH Media's long-cherished editorial integrity and will continue to do so. Being a direct and blunt-speaking person, I...

Head of M’sia-S’pore workers’ group asks if JB workers can serve 21-day SHN at budget hotels

Johor Bahru—In the light of a recent increase in Covid-19 infections, Singapore announced that it is extending Stay-Home Notices (SHN) from 14 days to 21 days for new arrivals to the country starting from Friday (May 7). The only exception will be...

Woman makes her temperature high to test if she can enter shopping malls in S’pore

Singapore – A woman conducted a social experiment by raising her temperature to see if she can still enter shopping malls despite the thermal scanner alarm going off. News and media company Shout uploaded a video on Facebook on Tuesday (May 4)...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent