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PALEOLITHIC ART MAGAZINE




EDITORIAL

May 9, 2001: the Museum of the Origins of Man on the Web is one year old


The idea to put in the web the Museum of the Origins of Man borned in December, 1999, after the inauguration of a little hall dedicated to Jacques Boucher de Perthes, happened December 4,1999.

The organization for the inauguration of the hall was begun with many months of advance, and with invitations to interested persons, inhabitants in several parts of the world.

Also the press has given its contribution; and there was a good participation of people.

From different parts of the world were requested via e-mail informations about the sculpture of the lower and middle Paleolithic and about the origin of the art in a generalized manner, in how much these persons could not come to visit personally.

Given vastness of typology of the sculpture, that embraces a timeline exceding the million years, and since the sculpture must be seen in photography, it has been tought to a web site of the Museum, as point of reference to these requests.

At the same time, has developed the idea to make a didactic site, with a clear exposure of all the components of the art, from the cultural context, to the technology of fabrication, the styles, the anthropological aspects, etc.

The site has been prepared in four months, with the photographic material of the Archives of the Museum, and has been put in the web on May, 9 2000.

In the course of this year, the site will be enriched with the new acquisitions of the Museum.

The cultural budget of one year has been positive, and advanced to the expectations, in consideration that the matter is not still in the scolastic learning.

The reasons of this happening are different:

1) The name Museum of the Origins of Man is already one of these.
Generally the museums, the conferences, the books, with the denomination " origins of the man " are taken care of skeletons and/or lithic tools, and deal " the material " aspects, but they have a scientific tradition; therefore, many visitors of the site, perhaps the greater part, comes from this area of interest.

2) Not to have used the name Museum of the Art of the lower and middle Paleolithic, which would have been more appropriated, has been useful, in how much the art, even if the appearances indicate the contrary, still have not entered in the scientific interests. This can be verified easy reading any book of " introduction to the Paleolithic ", where on 300 pages, nearly all are about skeletal findings and lithic tools, and to the art are dedicated 5 pages of paintings of the upper Paleolithic, and one half page for the small feminine figurines (Venus), described without insertion in a cultural tradition .

3) Important has been the cultural direction, that is the show of the material, inserted in lines of evolution (hypothetical), on chronological base, of same types of sculptures, from the Pebble Cultures to the Acheulean, the Mousterian, the Calcolithic, from archaic Greece to the Ethnography and to our times.

Therefore, beyond to the material of the Museum of the Origins of Man, it has been made recourse to that of other museums, in order to make a global discourse.

The aim of the site is not advertising, in order to introduce the findings of the Museum, but it want to promote in the scientific community the interest towards the search of the art of the lower and middle Paleolithic, i.e. an interest toward the spiritual world of our ancestors.

The real research about the lower and middle Paleolithic art will begin when it will be a search on very great scale by the palethnologists, like it happens today for the search about the human skeletons and the lithic tools.

This is our wish.

The signs arrived through the site of the Museum of the Origins of Man are a good omen.

Licia Filingeri (Editor)

Genova, may 2001

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