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Cave Paintings

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, now we are travelling far into the past of mankind. Take a look at this sequence of cave paintings, which were found in quarries and then brought into our museum. They are dated to the era of Kukyucum.

 

The first one features scenes from the cave dwellers' every day life. Of special interest are the hunters. The illustrations show them strengthening their bodies, handling weapons, and, this might actually sound strange, doing spiritual exercises.

 

The next motif displays hunting scenes - approaching, observing, waiting, seizing the right opportunity, and finally the very attack itself. Thereafter the prey is chopped up. The animal's teeth are distributed among the hunters. Those men having demonstrated great skills get extra large teeth, others get smaller ones, and some get nothing at all. The hunters carry them on a kind of chain around their necks. Number and size of the teeth make up the group's hierarchy.

 

Thus a functional economy developed and, well, I have to admit, the term might be a bit exaggerated, but one could call it a rudimentary educational system.

 

You may be laughing, but these teeth are nothing else than what we would today regard as diploma, rank symbols, and titles. Researchers found out that the so called Multi-Big-Teeth-Carriers (Homo multusdenspossessor) were leaders, role models, and teachers.

 

This civilisation prevailed for thousands of years. And then, within a very short time period, the society went down. How could this have happened ? Well, let's turn to the next painting.

 

There is someone who on first sight seems to pursue the usual hunting business. Soon his true intentions become clear. He is looking for perished animals in order to take possession of their teeth. Some of them he keeps by himself to boost his societal status. But this is not the end. Today we know that the collected teeth were bartered for favours and other things with fellow cave dwellers.

 

What was the result ? Right - the creeping decay of the entire civilisation. More and more people obtained symbols of knowledge and power in this undeserved way. There are even archeological findings resembling artificially made teeth-like objects.

 

Thus incompetent cave men took over. The consequences for society turned out to be catastrophic. Sociologists regard this as the cradle of politics.

 

Over time the skills for hunting got more and more lost, eventually leading to total disaster. Let's have a look at a further painting. The hunters run screaming towards the desired prey, hectically fidgeting with their arms. Then they start hopping in front of the animal. They clumsily handle their weapons, mostly missing the target. Some men even slay their buddies or themselves. Thereafter they distribute in advance prepared teeth to everyone present.

 

It seems that, already in this early state, history repeats itself:

buildup - growth - preservation - decay - decadence - ruin. This pattern can be encountered time and again in the history of mankind.

 

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Fine - we take a short break, and then I will tell you why the black pyramid had tipped over.

 

2005 HAW

 

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