The authenticity of the prehistoric paintings of the caves of Altamira has now been fully recognized for about thirty years, and with the many similar discoveries which have been made in France and Spain an entirely new light has been thrown on the mentality of prehistoric men. We must henceforth acknowledge that they possessed artistic tastes and a well developed aesthetic sense. No longer may we think of them as savages, solely concerned with the most material needs of daily life, but rather as men endowed with well-developed intellect and capable of considering things over and above the mere material side of the struggle for existence.
The discovery of skeletons, obviously buried with care, and surrounded with tools and ornaments, had already proved to us that respect was paid to the dead, and that there was a belief in an after-life. But with the discovery of works of art a fresh avenue of knowledge was opened up before us.
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