The Cradle of Humanity: Prehistoric Art and Culture

A radically interdisciplinary inquiry into the origins of human consciousness, community, and potential.The Cradle of Humanity: Prehistoric Art and Culture collects essays and lectures by Georges Bataille spanning 30 years of research in anthropology, comparative religion, aesthetics, and philosophy. These were neither idle nor idyllic years; the discovery of Lascaux in 1940 coincides with the bloodiest war in history-with new machines of death, Auschwitz, and Hiroshima. Bataille's reflections on the possible origins of humanity coincide with the intensified threat of its possible extinction. For Bataille, prehistory is universal history; it is the history of a human community prior to its fall into separation, into nations and races. The art of prehistory offers the earliest traces of nascent yet fully human consciousness-of consciousness not yet fully separated from natural flora and fauna,...

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