PREHISTORIC ARTWhat is Prehistoric Art?Prehistoric art can be several things, from megaliths to little stone figurines, to paintings on the walls of caves. The term prehistoric indicates that the culture that produced the artwork did not have a written language.
There are several forms of prehistoric artifacts and artwork. There are small stone figurines (1), petroglyphs (2) found all over the world, geoglyphs (3), megaliths (4), and last but not least, cave paintings
Paleolithic Art (Ice Age) Neolithic Art 40,000 BCE-8,000 BCE in the Near East 8,000 BCE- 3,000 BCE in the Near East 40,000 BCE- 4,000 BCE in Europe 4,000 BCE- 2,000 BCE in Europe ***The practice of making art making may be much older than surviving Megalithsobjects!
Paleolithic Art Sometimes described as magicians wearing masks, sorcerers, or humans dressed up as animals.
Water worn pebble resembling a human face, from Makapansgat, South Africa, ca. 3,000,000 B.C. A reddish-brown Jasperite pebble, approx. 2 3/8" wide, that resembles a human face, but is it "art"? The water worn pebble was the very first work of art ever created (to our knowledge at least). , Out of Africa: There is evidence that the earliest humans, originating in Africa, recognized abstract images in the natural world.
Human with feline head, from Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany, ca. 30,00028,000 BCE. Mammoth ivory, 11 5/8 high. Ulmer Museum, Ulm.Dame a la Capuche (Woman from Brassempouy) ca. 22000 BCE, Grotte du Pape, Brassempouy, France. Ivory, Height-1 , Musee , Saint Germain-en-Laye. Near Paris, France. Bison with turned head, 12,000 BCE, Madeleine, France,
Venus- The goddess of love and beauty!
Woman/Venus of Willendorf ca. 28,000 BCE, Limestone, Height- 4 , found in Austria Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna .Venus of Laussel, ca. 20,000-18,000 BCE, limestone, height 17 inches, Dordogne, France, Muse d'Aquitaine, Bordeaux,Venus de MiloThe Birth of Venus by Boticelli
All periods of prehistoric art was based on the development of stone implements!
Reclining woman, rock-cut relief, La Magdelaine cave, Tarn, France, ca. 12,000 B.C. APPROX. HALF LIFE-SIZE. rock-cut relief of a reclining nude woman on cave wall. Two bison reliefs in cave in France. 15-10,000 BCE clay, each approx 2 long.
CAVE PAINTINGS-What purpose did they serve?- decorative?, ritual or religious purposes/worship? magic religious motives?- to exert power over animal represented? (spear dents in cave wall where painting is)-to improve the success of the hunt (magic)?-to access the animals spirit? (shamanism)-
Wounded Bison ca. 15,000-10,000 BCE, Altamira Spain.
Lions and Bison, End Chamber Chauvet Cave. C. 30,000-28,000 BCE , Vallon-Pont-d Arc Gorge in Southeastern, France.
Paleolithic Narrative Art????Bear, ca. 30,000-28,000 BCE Chauvet Cave Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Ardeche Gorge, France Shaft of the Dead ca. 15,000-13,000 BCE, Lascaux, France Bison approx 3 8 longLong-Eared Owl, ca. 30,000-28,000 BCE, Chauvet Cave, Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Ardeche Gorge, France.
Close up of dotsHand Dots in the BrunelChamber at Chauvet.
Spotted horses and negative (brushed or blew or spat pigment around them) hand imprints wall painting in the cave at Pech-Merle Lot, France, ca. 22,000 BCE, Approx. 112 long.
Lascaux Cave- Best known-extensively decorated. in the south of France, near Lascaux, boys in 1940 discovered 17,000 year old paintings and artifacts made by our early ancestors. Chinese Horse Lascaux Cave. Ca. 15,000-13,000 BCE, Dordogne, France. Hall of the Bulls, ca. 15,000-10,000 BCE, Lascaux Cave, Dordogne, France,
Ivory Horse ca. 30,000 BCE , rock cut portable, from Subtlemoon.
Overlapping animal engravings, ca. 40,000-10,000 bce, Le Trois Freres, France Rubbing done by Abbe Breuil , purpose- to record animal migration?
Neolithic Art (New Stone Age/Ice Age Recedes) - 10,000 BCE, earths climate became warmer (ice began to melt). New vegetation and animal population began to change (Reindeer migrated north/woolly mammoth and Rhinoceros disappeared), causing changes in human behaviors. Hunters changed to herders to farmers and finally townspeople. Changing relationships between humans and their environment.Neolithic plastered skull. Ca. 7,000 BCE. Jericho, Jordan Life size Archaeological Museum Amman.
Fortified town of Jericho a plateau in the Jordan River valley with and unfailing spring.Great Stone Tower built into the settlement wall, Jericho, ca. 8,000-7,000BCE.Human figure from Ain Ghazal Jordan ca. 6750-6250 BCE. White plaster, painted and inlaid with cowrie shell and bitumen, 3 5 3/8 high. Louvre Paris.
Reconstruction of Catal Huyuk, Turkey. Schematic reconstruction. Ca. 6,000-5,900 BCE , Catal Hoyuk is the oldest and largest Neolithic Age city and one of the earliest villages found to date.Animal Hunt restoration of Main Room Shrine A.III.I. ca. 6,000 BCE Catal Huyuk
Stonehenge ca. 2,100 diameter 97, on the Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England Monumental Architecture.