Homo Sapiens Sapiens enters the scene about 30,000 years ago and although his habits are similar to those of Neanderthal Man, he will introduce substantial intellectual changes.
This man continues the hunting tradition, and widens out his use of weapons. We have already referred to his bow, arrows and javelin throwers, unknown to his predecessor and which will permit Sapiens Sapiens to be at less risk in the hunting field.
Also, he perfects snares and traps and invents bone and stone hooks to aid his fishing skills, a field that becomes really very great with his use of man-made dams and basket creels.
His domination and control over fire are another milestone. If his predecessor obtained fire by striking rocks or rubbing sticks, this man employs also rotary tools that produce a flame in much less time.
Two hooks. One of stone (1) and the other of bone (3).
In the middle, a basket creel or fishing trap.
Clothing develops as time goes on. Hides are sewn with strips of sinew or vegetable fibers threaded by bone needles; because securing clothing to his body permits greater liberty of movement. Stones, dental pieces or other objects strung together are his first adornments as necklaces and bracelets.
Beliefs multiply and diversify; death no longer is the only obsession. Now come propitiations made for the hunt and for fertility. Observations of climatic cycles and of animal conduct make of Homo Sapiens Sapiens a creature who is alert to changes, which he ascribes to supernatural powers.
Perhaps his hunting capacity is not owing only to a display of ability, but to occult powers that direct his weapon right to the most vulnerable point in the body of his prey. When he develops the perception necessary to limn what he sees, he draws and molds figurines of animals that are crucial to his existence, and which occasionally he pierces with arrows.
If magic is a preliminary step to religion, man of the Upper Paleolithic practices it profusely. The eventual capture of his prey is certain if favored by actions of a being versed in witchcraft, the "witch-doctor."
Three forms of lance or javelin construction,
also with a rosin base and reinforced by leather or fibers.
The figure of the witch-man is going to be as familiar amongst the clans as that of the hunters themselves, and again we do not know when he becomes institutionalized nor the range of his functions. In time it may be that he drives away evil spirits that bring illnesses, directs the ceremonies of initiation for young people and serves as intermediary with the guardian totem.
Fertility is another of the fields over which supernatural beings have control. If the totem is that which fertilizes the female womb thus linking the whole clan together in a single trunk, the role of the woman is primordial. Obsession for her is reflected in "Venus" figures which accent sexual attributes in even the most grotesque ways, ignoring the rest of the figure.
Female animals also are objects of this obsession, if we are attentive to the cave-wall drawings that represent them. To hunt them while great with offspring in gestation, is only to increase respect for an inexplicable phenomeno. This starts the beginnings of a cult of fecundity to develop much later with its own deities and female priestesses.
Our Madrid Community is poor in cultural evidences for there was no necessity of natural shelters to protect them from inclemencies of the weather. Up to this moment the only discovery that denotes an artistic sensibility is that of the Cueva del Reguerillo - the Aurinaciensis period - in Patones, with a length of three hundred meters and wherein appear fish, monkeys, a stag, a mammoth and two human figures. However, this does not signify the lack of other cultural activities made on perishable materials.
If at Patones its dwellers used the walls of that refuge to represent their most characteristic fauna and with magic intent, we can think that other groups did it also on trunks of trees, on exposed rocks and on hunting tools and that not one bit of this remains to us today. In any case, the finishing of the tools found in the few existing deposit-beds show an advanced intellectual level.
The Atajillo stone figure and the Portazgo Tile-works in Madrid, show a set of tools in which we find such salient pieces as grinders, lance points, arrows, harpoons, punches, drills, etc, dating in the Upper Magdalenian Period and much developed over those of the Middle Paleolithic.
Existence continues to be harsh. If the Würm glaciation brings low temperatures, its close makes a great portion of cold-blooded animals disappear, obliging now a hunting for all kinds of species and diversification to vegetable diets. In their favor, new resources are employed now and a bonanza of good climate, making more bearable a life miserable in itself.
Propellent for lance.
Used to increase power and accuracy.
In any case, by there being only one cave known to be a human refuge proves that Würm did not strike too heavily on those suffering huntsmen clans that roamed our community in search of food.
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