Re: Paleolithic shamanism

Greggory Senechal (
Mon, 10 Apr 1995 17:16:14 GMT

Lorne Holyoak ( wrote:
> Recently, Dean Edwards, in his article about Basques, blithely referred to
> the " shamans" who painted the caves in Spain and France during the
> paleolithic. Someone else asserted in another article that the Celts
> inherited their shamanic traditions from the builders of Stonehenge,
> etc. What is going on in this newsgroup? Were you folks there as
> witnesses? Archaeology is speculative in nature, and any conclusions
> drawn from material culture remains must be treated as speculation.
> Let's stop these assertions which merely serve to legitimize our hopes
> and fantasies. If you want to practice what you believe is shamanism
> that is fine, and I wish you all the success in the worlds, *but* why do
> you bother trying to make it seem like a part of a great tradition which
> may or may not have existed. I suspect that many of you need to exam the
> original sources about archaeology and shamanism rather than relying
> on second hand and third rate interpretations.

I agree wholeheartedly. Archaeologists often make the mistake
of reading too deeply into artifacts. I also have a problem with the
degree to which we use the word "culture". Stone tools do not make a
culture. Technological traditions, yes, but not culture.

Greggory Senechal WWW:
Carleton University ---
Email address: OR