Posted by: Rob Lester | December 13, 2010

And now…the “Singing Cavemen!”

Research done by Iegor Reznikoff, a specialist in ancient music at the University of Paris, has determined that cave paintings done by Upper Paleolithic (40,000 years ago) people seem to be concentrated in areas of the caves which had good acoustics. “A trained vocalist was sent through the caves testing different sounds and pitches in various locations. Spots of maximum resonance, or places where the voice was most amplified and clear, were noted in each section and later laid over a map of the cave drawings. The vast majority of the paintings, up to 90 percent in some cases, were located directly at, or very near, the spots where the acoustics were the absolute best.” This suggests that the drawings were done where singing or perhaps storytelling was performed before gatherings of cave-dwellers. They also have found many bone whistles and flutes in these caves. Stone Age cavemen are usually associated with the stooped, grunting Neanderthal and Cro-magnon. However, they actually appear to have been talented artists and musicians who made the most of their surroundings. The research also indicates that they may have used vocal sounds as a sort of echolocation (like bats and dolphins use) to explore caves where torches would not give sufficient light. It seems that with each new discovery “primitive” humans become less primitive and more like us.

“Cave Men Loved to Sing” by Heather Whipps, LiveScience posted: 03 July 2008


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