Out of the day, time and life: Phenomenology and Cavescapes
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Affects of cavescapes: It is a paradox; perhaps our confidence in a scientific approach sometimes make us miss the point. Archaeologists cherish caves as a place for fortunate discoveries – they are containers of well- preserved things from the deep past; the scarceness of weathering and microorganisms in caves are good thing. The result is that caves may produce unexpected and wonderful things, fragile paintings that still retain their colours, delicate artefacts, faunal remains that may be classified, negative imprints of human hands, arrangements of things, burials, and even human barefoot imprints and finger marks. We bring sharp instruments to retrieve objects and document contexts, electrical torches, lasers to measure distances, sensors to explore sounds and temperature – still, perhaps the essence of the situation escapes us. Very likely, the past people that ventured into the dark spaces saw it differently. They did not enter caves to retrieve well- preserved things – they probably were drawn to a wider range of what we may label cave affects – they probably came to visit the cave itself. At best, they came with flickering torches, and had little other instruments to record what was in here, except their own bodily sensing organs. They lacked the instruments that could separate soundscapes from fragrances, and temperatures form visions – but had to take it all- in at the same instant. The electric light and specialized recording facilities we bring along to explore the darkened enclosures may very well counteract our ability to sense what was at centre for past people’s reasons to visit the cave. In this chapter, I will explore how caves as landscapes are sensed by human visitors – the affects of cavescapes.