Anthropology Essay

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The illimitable interpretations available to us in the analysis of any visual phenomena, especially those phenomena mediated by artistic endeavors, coupled with the swell of centuries that wash us on distant shores from our primordial cousins, places special difficulties in the analysis of Paleolithic art.


The deployment of psychoanalytical and neurophysiological models of understanding in conjunction with the rise of alterity discourse in academic has questioned long held presuppositions and created new lines of inquiry beyond the traditional categories of analysis. Specifically these suppositions include the regnant status of religion and/or magic in the creation and perception of the art, and the presumption that women were merely passive participants in the production of artwork as traditional scholarship as traditional scholarship presumed Paleolithic aesthetics revolved around the hunter-fertility axis within those cultures. This paper will briefly review a segment of the literature that engages some of these methodologies and their respective findings and through this review suggest that an abandonment of ethnological analogies to modern hunter-gatherer cultures be undertaken coupled with an integrationist approach regarding the usage of other methodologies and an increasing awareness of missing perspectives.
E.B. Tylor's assessment of the dominant role of magic and animism in primal culture has dominated interpretations of the art from prehistoric man (Leroi-Gourhan and Michelson 5). ...
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