APPARENT "ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS" IN ART
Archive file# o110199b
donated by James Vandale
APPARENT "ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS" IN ART
The nine-thousand-year-old statues are the oldest known life-size
representations of the human form--but to modern eyes they do not look quite
human. Due to their big--sometimes slanting--eyes, rudimentary noses, and tiny
mouths, some have compared them to space aliens. They resemble the kind
popularized by Whitley Strieber's "visitors" books and Steven Spielberg's
movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Ann Gunter, the curator of ancient Near Eastern art at the Sackler Museum of
Asian Art in Washington, D.C., acknowledges this. She and her colleagues feel
that, since the sculptures may have depicted the ancients' ancestors, the
creation of features looking like "beings from some other time and place" may
have been intentional, reported the August 1, 1996 Washington Post. The
figures, made of plaster, and with actual human skulls within their heads,
were retrieved from their longtime home at 'Ain Ghazal in Jordan after a
bulldozer accidentally revealed a corner of their place of rest. The figures
were in two groups, discovered in one cache. After a decade of study and
restoration in Suitland, Maryland, at the Smithsonian's Conservation
Analytical Lab, the public finally could view these seemingly unearthly pieces
from 3,000 years before the use of writing, now that they were on display at
James Lochart, writing about the exhibit for the August 2 Washington City
Paper, suggests another unorthodox theory that could be applied to the
statues. He recalls the theory of the bicameral mind, explicated by Julian
Jaynes, which posits that, until about 1000 B.C., people did not possess
subjective consciousness. Decisions were supposedly carried out via auditory
hallucinations--the sacred voice of authority. But he feels the Jaynes theory
applies more to the famous Olmec heads (on temporary display at the National
Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.) than to these small-mouthed depictions,
unless "their makers had yet to fine-tune their technique...."
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