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Altered States of Consciousness and Palaeoart: an Alternative Neurovisual Explanation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2006

Derek Hodgson
Affiliation:
2 Belle Vue Street, York, North Yorks., YO10 5AY, UK; derek_hodgson@beeb.net.

Abstract

There has been much controversy recently regarding Lewis-Williams's assertion that altered states of consciousness and shamanism can explain Palaeolithic art. Evidence now seems to be accumulating that this account is unable to provide a sustainable explanation for Upper Palaeolithic depictions. This proposition will be explored and substantiated by examining further weaknesses contained therein. Additionally, in response to claims by those defending altered states that no alternative explanation for palaeoart has been proposed as a viable alternative, it will be shown that such a description does exist but has not been given the attention it deserves because of a misplaced concern for shamanism.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2006 The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

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