>Recently I have become very interested in Anthropology, the study of man. It is fascinating learning about the evolutionary context of how man came to be, and about ancient societies. This past week at Cal State Fullerton, I have already taken advantage of the Pollak Library and have spent some time there reading.
Over the summer and at the library I have been reading many books about Anthropology, and even have a textbook that I have been going through. I will try to take a class next semester, now that I already have an understanding for and liking of it. I was reading my Art History textbook today and the first chapter is about art, specifically cave art, of the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages. Highlighted are ancient pictures of bison and hand-prints found deep in caves in France. It is so fascinating to learn about ancient cultures and see that they were able to think so profoundly as to go into the deep recesses of caves to help preserve them, or that they had some religious practices 15,000 or however-many years ago.
That picture, called Spotted Horses and Human Hands from France, was painted thousands of years ago and still that human handprint survives. It is incredible how we were able to adapt and develop civilizations. At one point, we went from hunter-gatherer to agrarian societies, where individuals were given much more free time to develop a better way of life, the first among millions of species on Earth who was able to shape his environment, to look towards the future.
Today our society has developed so much, and is doing so at an alarming rate. We have forgotten, and don’t want to replicate, that ancient ‘primative’ practice of hunting and gathering our food for the day. Everything today says we deserve this or that, when as humans we have forgotten our roots. I’m sure if you met someone living in the ancient Near East, they wouldn’t care about the newest clothing style or botox or cell phones; they were intent on farming, on giving their familly substinence to get through the season, knowing that what they had was only what the Earth gave them: fertile soils, rivers, trees, and game for meat. Really that is all we need to survive. I enjoy learning about ancient cultures, those before modernization and large-scale empires existed, because I like the culture they lived in. Studying ancient socities and ancient man can give us clues to who we really are as a race, and how we are what we are today.