This new meditation on the earliest appearance of representational arts in human development and history points to another interesting line of inquiry in our understanding of the arts. Anthropologists, Evolutionary Biologists, and Evolutionary Psychologists are spending a lot of time trying to understand what evolutionary advantage artistic practice or aesthetic sense might have provided.
One of the most important folks studying this work is Ellen Dissanayake:
Here’s two general audience articles where she meditates on these issues:
The Birth of the Arts
What would your instinctive answer have been if you were guessing on this front? Do you find her arguments convincing?