from the editors of Expression 30

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is a pleasure to offer you a complimentary copy of EXPRESSION 30.
This issue, the fourth one to appear during the Coronavirus pandemic,
faces a crucial theme, that of identity, which bothers a large
percentage of the human beings, of societies and of nations. It also
concerns students and scholars, trying to define the identity of past
and present cultures. The selected articles range in different
directions and should stimulate other contributions on the same
general topic: the identity of a culture, an age, or a social trend.
Five articles face the problems of identity of different ages and
different nature, in four different continents: Africa, America, Asia
and Europe. Amélie Balazut considers the paintings of French
Paleolithic caves, looking at the problem of human identity in
Paleolithic times, seeing the totemic animal counterpart of man as a
source of identity. How did Paleolithic people conceive their images
of half human and half animal beings? Stavros Kiotsekoglou analyzes
the meaning of the similarity of two archeological sites, one in
Greece and the other in Italy, stressing coincidences and what appears
to be common elements of identity despite the geographical distance:
cultural identity or pure coincidence? Jitka Soukopova faces the
confrontation between two different cultural identities,
hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, of a few thousand years ago, in the
oases of North Africa, when what is now desert was greener. How do
their rock paintings help defining their cultural identity? Emmanuel
Anati deals with the earliest known urban settlement in the Near East,
which came into existence in the age of hunter-gatherers, searching
for the identity of its founders and for the process that led to its
birth and development. What was the function of a fortified town among
clans of hunters? And Giuseppe Orefici explores the identity of the
makers of the extraordinary geoglyphs at Nasca, in Peru, their
religious beliefs and their social performances. What was the function
of miles-long cleaned and managed grounds and of the large size images
which are hardly visible from the ground? The attempts at defining
identity will be further considered in forthcoming issues. We hope
that you will be stimulated by these cases of cultural identity.
Those having something to say on the topic are welcome to participate
in this open sharing of knowledge and ideas.

Expression 30:

Cordial regards and best wishes for the coming festivities and for a
new year free of pandemics!
Emmanuel Anati
(EXPRESSION General Editor)