Mircea Éliade et la pensée mythique au Paléolithique Supérieur

  • Pierre Noiret (Author)

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In regard to the Upper Palaeolithic, abundant data shed light on symbolic functions. Beyond simply technical activities, it is possible to reconstruct certain elements of mythical thought, comparable to that described by ethnologists and historians of religion. Their study does not enable us to identify the myths recounted, but rather to clearly envisage their nature and their fundamental role in the functioning of Palaeolithic societies. During the 1990s, the discovery of the Chauvet Cave challenged the linear evolution of parietal art established by André Leroi-Gourhan. The recent discovery of very similar paintings in Romania, at the Coliboaia Cave enables us to complement the approach to the initial phases of that art. The similarities between the images in the two caves suggest we should return to the concept of myth.

Keywords: Mircea Eliade, myth, religious beliefs, Upper Paleolithic, parietal art, Chauvet, Coliboaia.