Forgotten myths and memories, the art of Early Gatherers: from Tanzania to a world pattern
Emmanuel Anati  1, *@  
1 : Centro Internazionale di Studi Preistorici ed Etnologici
* : Auteur correspondant

Does the kind of food influence mental associative processes? Does it influence the typology of art production? Field research in Tanzania has allowed to identify a rock art style representing branches, fruits and other vegetal images; anthropomorphic figures have altered deformed-idealized shapes, likely to display patterns produced under the influence of hallucinogens. Animal figures are rare and deformed; they do not appear to be related to hunting and could be totemic symbols. Thanks to overlapped incrustations this style resulted to have been produced in the late Pleistocene over 12.000 years ago. Comparative studies showed the presence of similar styles in other regions, allowing to attribute them to people having a prevailing vegetarian diet and indulging in the use of drugs. The typology revealed recurring patterns of early Food Gatherers in several other assemblages of rock art in other parts of the world.


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