Caves, dreams, and art

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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With so much of the history of humankind taking place before records were kept, even the smallest tidbit information on our ancient ancestors and their way of life is highly coveted.

On March 9, visitors to Macbride Hall will have the opportunity see one of the most recent and significant discoveries in advancing our knowledge of the past. At 3 p.m., the documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams will be shown.

"This film gives the public access to a cave in France where the oldest known rock art known so far, more than 30,000 years old, was discovered," said Sarah Horgen, the collections management coordinator for the Museum of Natural History. "The visuals inside are unparalleled in their significance to the historical record. Since the public is not allowed inside the cave, to protect the art, this is the only way we can see the rock art."

Famous German film director Werner Herzog and his film crew were allowed to enter the cave to document the art that few will ever see in person.

"These are precious treasures, dating back to a time when our modern human ancestors were coming out of Africa into contact with other human populations, such as Neanderthals, who were not making this kind of artistic expression," said UI Professor James Enloe, the head of the Anthropology Department. "They tell us very much about what it means to be human and help us understand how we came to be who we are."

— by Isaac Hamlet

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