Dear colleagues and friends,

What myths and what memories are revealing early monuments? What are the stories behind a painted caves in Dordogne, a megalithic monuments in Ireland, Gobleky Tepe pre-ceramic ceremonial center in Anatolia, the Paleolithic shrine at Har Karkom in the Negev desert , rock art concentrations in the Drakensberg, South Africa, Serra da Capivara, Brazil or Kimberley, Australia? What stories are hidden behind a standing stone erected by some human being of a forgotten culture, or behind a group of markings on the wall of a rock-shelter? These monuments preserve myths and memories of cultures and ages around the world. Each monument, each rock picture, each standing stone, has its stories. By decoding them, history is being produced out of prehistory. Awakening curiosity, asking questions, is no less important than answering questions and solving problems. People having ideas or just curiosity are invited to join this search for the common roots of memories and myths.

Reality and imagination are ingredients of our intellect. They complete each other. Reality without imagination and imagination without reality would be void of interest. What is captured by our senses awakens a double process, that of acquiring a sense of the reality and that of applying our imagination to search for a meaning to such sense. Often discerning what is real and what is imagination is a subjective matter.

A few days ago I was looking at a splendid exhibition of early Chinese paintings: landscapes with small human beings and gigantic sea waves, dreamy, misty mountains, flowers and leaves having shapes and colors more real than the real ones…. but the smell of the paintings was not that of the depicted flowers.

Both for us and for prehistoric man, senses are means of access to reality. But such reality may be subjective and is formed, deformed or transformed by our senses. They select reality, they make us decide what is real, what to remember and what to forget, they coordinate our feelings of pleasant or unpleasant, beautiful or ugly, appealing or not appealing. The real and the imaginary may vary from person to person and both, real and imaginary, can be accepted or refused. Was the mind of early man much different from ours?

Decorated caves, megalithic monuments, early shrines, sites of rock art, are the containers of myths and memories, are the testimony of the immense variety of beliefs and habits, are the source for an as yet unwritten history of mankind: the existential history of people’s real and imaginary, myths and memories. Even small contributions may enrich our knowledge and whoever has something to say is invited to share such knowledge.

The selection of the real from the imaginary varies from person to person. It varies in different tribes and, no doubt, the same is true for prehistoric societies. The variety in style and subject matter of prehistoric and tribal art is the mirror of the immense alternatives of the human mind. It is the medium to unveil past adventures of human myths and memories. What do they tell us? What do they tell you?

Colleagues and friends are welcome to share their research, discoveries or ideas and submit their papers. Please consider that EXPRESSION  is a quarterly magazine in English, dedicated to the human sciences; it reaches institutions and colleagues in over 60 countries. Papers should be of interest to this kind of audience. Not all of the readers may be specialists in your specialty but they are open-minded and curious. We recommend short texts, around 3000 words, good illustrations and, most important, creative ideas, new discoveries, new visions, new tendencies of research.

For submitting articles to the issue of EXPRESSION magazine dedicated to “MYTHS AND MEMORIES” the deadline is November 20, 2017. Please join us, addressing ideas, abstracts and papers to atelier.etno@gmail.com.

Cordial regards and best wishes,

Emmanuel Anati