Marcel Otte

The Audacity of Sapiens: How Humanity Was Formed Publication date : April 11, 2018

Historian of art and archeology, Marcel Otte is professor of prehistory at the Université de Liège. The author of numerous reference works, he is a specialist in cultural exchanges during the Paleolithic period and is director of many archeological digs in Europe.
One cannot explain the explosive expansion of humans over the Earth, against all laws of biology, other than by observing a single factor unique to that species, a sort of “illness” that affects its mind: the complete dominance of audacity, of imagination, of a quest for freedom, over all other forms of behavior, both innate or learned.

By using his power of thinking, prehistoric man indeed fought biological laws and defied environmental constraints, without being limited by them. This succession of challenges overcome is illustrated by bipedalism, the use of made tools, the construction of shelter, the control over fire, the invention of burial sites, the development of mythical tales, artistic creations, the development of farming…

For the prehistorian Marcel Otte, it is time to reinsert thought, responsibility, and courage into a reading of the prodigious human adventure, the one that brings us so many marvels, fascinating facts, dreams. Those populations invented everything, from the most beautiful to the most useful, guided only by their audacity!