Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says

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Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says

EXCERPT: According to a new paper in "Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture" by Tel Aviv University archaeologists, the humans who ventured into these subterranean enclosures during the Upper Paleolithic (50,000 to 12,000 years ago) would have needed to light torches in order to see what they were doing. In the process, they would have reduced the amount of oxygen in the caves, inducing hypoxia (oxygen-deprivation) in their brains. That, in turn, would have put them in a state of altered consciousness, experiencing euphoria, out-of-body experiences and perhaps even hallucinations.

Our ancestors would not have understood the science behind all of this, though. That is why the Israeli researchers speculate that they probably would have understood their experience as metaphysical in nature. Indeed, there are many people today who believe they have had spiritual experiences when they take mind-altering substances or enter a "trippy" environment, even with the scientific knowledge we currently possess about why our brains react in certain ways.

The people responsible for these drawings, the researchers speculate, might have believed that there was something special about the caves themselves... (MORE - details)

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Israeli archaeologists crack mystery of cave paintings done in the dark

EXCERPTS: . . . They were making the drawings not for the tribe to see, but for keeping and maintaining their relationships with the cosmos. Who doesn’t love an altered state of consciousness? [...] among humans, hallucinogens have been cited for the ecstatic visions they may induce, and many a modern artist has recoiled from rehab for fear of starving the muse.

It has been postulated that Stone Age artists were stoned to the nines, but no smoking bong was ever discovered (with the exception of hallucinogen use strongly indicated in prehistoric California – the artists drew datura plants and archaeologists identified chewed datura plugs at the site, like tobacco plugs, not bathroom-sink plugs).

[...] Yafit Kedar also surmises that once the Paleolithic artists became aware of this effect, they entered the caves and induced the intoxication deliberately... (MORE - details)
Zinjanthropos Offline
Hmmm... Muhammad the prophet spent time in a cave, Moses came down from Mt Sinai, how much does religion owe to hypoxia? Was God born in a cave? Just saying, what’s good for cave artists may be good for others with special talents.

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