SPELEOFACTS

Installation - Sound design - Art direction - Production design

Project exhibited at :

- Espace Hippomène in Geneva - 2017

- Deviant Art Festival - DAF 2018, in Geneva - La Reliure

Speleology and artefacts

176,500 years old

Broken and arranged stalagmites

Complexe structure made by Neanderthal men 176,500 years ago.

Turned into

a modern artefact

An instrument which makes sound out of the magnetism of your body

The grotto

The circular structure built by Neandertal men in the cave with 2.5 tonnes of stalagmites is at 3OOm away from the entrance. It was not a safe place, there was no food or water in the cave, and the entrence would have been enought to shelter. Thus this place had been built in an immateriel purpose. It’s a place of meeting, where there is communication and birth of beliefs.

 

It’s in this kind of place where common concepts happen. When they became intelligent and shared the same concepts. They were inetlligent together to build something together. Those spaces are the starting points of the community. They were organised through a common will with an aura, sounds, and a totemic space, a sanctuary.

 

Those artefacts are the ones on which our society is build on.

We always build stories that rules our world. As religion, law, money, all of those invisible things are real in our mind. 

« Very little is known about Neanderthal cultures, particularly early ones. Other than lithic implements and exceptional bone tools, very few artefacts have been preserved. While those that do remain include red and black pigments and burial sites, these indications of modernity are extremely sparse and few have been precisely dated, thus greatly limiting our knowledge of these predecessors of modern humans. Here we report the dating of annular constructions made of broken stalagmites found deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwest France. 

 

The regular geometry of the stalagmite circles, the arrangement of broken stalagmites and several traces of fire demonstrate the anthropogenic origin of these constructions. Uranium-series dating of stalagmite regrowths on the structures and on burnt bone, combined with the dating of stalagmite tips in the structures, give a reliable and replicated age of 176.5 thousand years, making these edifices among the oldest known well-dated constructions made by humans. 

 

Their presence at 336m from the entrance of the cave indicates that humans from this period had already mastered the underground environment, which can be considered a major step in human modernity. »

JAUBERT Jacques, VERHEYDEN Sophie, GENTY Dominique, « Early Neanderthal constructions deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwestern France », Nature, n°534, published online 25 May 2016 : [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v534/n7605/abs/nature18291.html#affil-auth]