MP Gallery - Markings, Signs, Graphemes
(Revised and posted 6/13/06)
This gallery presents a brief synthesis of research literature on graphematic signs on Middle Paleolithic artefacts as of date posted. I have attempted a tentative categorization of the types of graphemes and some thoughts on what each may have signified based on internal analysis of the markings. The array of Middle Paleolithic artifacts bearing potential intentionally inscribed motifs is summarized on the MP Mind page.
I propose the existence of a worldwide Middle Paleolithic marking system or protolanguage (MPmrk). Middle Paleolithic symbolists appear to draw on some of the Early Paleolithic marking motifs:
and innovate four new motifs
Note that the proposed thematics for these four graphemes are mutually interrelated, each entailing the other three.
Over time MP symbolists paired aggregated and otherwise combined these motifs in more and more complex forms, and eventually adding motifs, such as 'X' and 'chevron', which become key graphemes structuring the European Upper Paleolithic 'geometric signs' system, as I suggest elsewhere (See publications), signifying 'bifurcation' and 'channeled flow' respectively.
The MP markings may have had ritual efficacy and reflected a sophisticated understanding bearing such abstract ideas as 'presencing of the landscape'; 'venerating creativity, singing shapes, descending from the ancestors'; 'strengthening soul-spirit-force against demonic possession'; 'finitude, touching the animal'; 'self-presencing contemplation of the divine'; and 'manifesting the crystal rainbow of abundant life-energy' (See publications)
Photo © as cited
|a) laferrassie60...||b) koonalda29jfp...||c) cuevamorinmea...||d) prolom13560rb...||e) tata100bordes...|
|f) bachokirozigz...||g) bachokirodesi...||h) temnata6750.jpg||i) krm100sw81.jpg||j) laferrassie60...|
|k) oldisleben120...||l) qafzeh100core...||m) qafzeh100core...||n) qafzeh100draw...||o) qafzeh100map1...|
|p) oldisleben120...||q) blombos70engs...||r) kebara6050.jpg||s) quneitra54.jpg||t) quneitraam.jpg|
|u) ablartetcuevm...||v) suard150crema...||w) suard150crema...||x) arcysurcurfos...||y) tata100ochred...|