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Why were ancient cave painters deliberately lacking oxygen?

A replica of Spain’s Altamira Cave, home to a number of local, contemporary animal drawings and human hands created between 18,500 and 14,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic period.

Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Ancient cave painters sometimes created elaborate images in dark and narrow corridors that could only be navigated by artificial light. Conditions that are not suitable for artists Why did Picasso of the Late Stone Age try to paint in such a dimly lit and difficult space? Because they know the environment will deplete them of oxygen and put them high, according to a new study.

Tel Aviv University archaeologists say in the study, which appears in the latest issue of Time and Mind: The Journal of Archeology, Consciousness and Culture. The lack of oxygen allows them to tap into the deepest, most in-organ creativity levels. The most internal and connected to the universe.

In many indigenous societies, active connection to the universe and the environment is key to the well-being and adaptation of individuals and communities. The study states that “It̵

7;s not the decoration that makes the cave so important.” “But the importance of the selected cave is the reason for the decoration.”

When the oxygen concentration in the blood-oxygen of the body drops below a certain level, hypoxia follows. It is a potentially life-threatening state that can cause many biological and cognitive changes, including increased dopamine, hallucinations, and euphoria. Researchers believe that artists from between 14,000 and 40,000 years ago shed their way through the depths of the cave with a flickering torch, knowing the fire would reduce oxygen levels in already poorly ventilated areas. Some of the art pieces have been found in the area that involves climbing steps, crossing narrow paths and even the shafts several meters deep.

Researchers have studied decorative caves first discovered in western Europe in the 19th century to interpret the enduring mysteries of cave art and explore what inspired many of these early artists to paint in black. And red or engraved on soft walls or hard surfaces. Most of them are animal portraits. But also hand stencils, hand prints and abstract geometric labels.

Not all cave art appears in deep and dark crevices, some adorn the walls near entrances or shelters. But it is an art in a remote cave area that is not used for daily domestic activities that are most interested researchers, such as Yafit Kedar, Ph.D., a candidate in the Department of Archeology at Tel Aviv University.

It is she who theorizes that the artist deliberately induces hypoxia to achieve a change in consciousness.

To research her hypothesis, Kedar and her fellow scientists modeled the effect of torches on oxygen concentrations in enclosed spaces, such as in the Upper Stone Age caves. They found that oxygen levels in narrow passages or single-hallways fell sharply to below 18%, a level known to cause human hypoxia.

It’s been a good year for cave art, where there is a lot of information to tell us about the well-being and thinking of our ancestors. Earlier this year, researchers identified images of a pig 45,500 years ago, believed to be both the world’s oldest cave painting and the remains of the animal.

Over the years, other exciting, albeit unshaped, antique paintings have been discovered, including one found in South Africa 73,000 years ago, one that resembles a hashtag and one during the Between 2100 and 4100 BC, which may show human amazement when a stellar explosion occurred.

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