Masters of Art V. Prehistoric art

Cave painting of human hands

Prehistoric art

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Palaeolithic era

Middle Paleolithic

The earliest undisputed art originated with the Aurignacian archaeological culture in the Upper Paleolithic. However, there is some evidence that the preference for the aesthetic emerged in the Middle Paleolithic, from 200,000 to 50,000 years ago. Some archaeologists have interpreted certain Middle Paleolithic artifacts as early examples of artistic expression.
The symmetry and attention given to the shape of a tool has led authors to see Acheulean hand axes and especially laurel points as artistic expressions as well. The Mask of La Roche-CotardNeanderthal figurative art, although in a period post-dating their contact with Homo sapiens. There are other claims of Middle Paleolithic sculpture, dubbed the "Venus of Tan-Tan" (before 300 kya)[1] and the "Venus of Berekhat Ram" (250 kya). In 2002 in Blombos cave, situated in South Africa, stones were discovered engraved with grid or cross-hatch patterns, dated to some 70,000 years ago. This suggested to some researchers that early Homo sapiens were capable of abstraction and production of abstract art or symbolic art. Several archaeologists including Richard Klein of Stanford are hesitant to accept the Blombos caves as the first example of actual art. has been taken as evidence of

Upper Paleolithic

Aurochs on a cave painting in Lascaux, France.

The oldest undisputed works of art were found in the Schwäbische Alb, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The earliest of these, the Venus figurine known as the Venus of Hohle Fels, dates to some 40,000 years ago.

Further depictional art from the Upper Palaeolithic period (broadly 40,000 to 10,000 years ago) includes cave painting (e.g., those at Chauvet, Altamira, Pech Merle, and Lascaux) and portable art: Venus figurinesVenus of Willendorf, and also animal carvings, like the Swimming Reindeer.
Monumental open air art in Europe from this period include Côa Valley and Mazouco in Portugal, Domingo García and Siega Verde in Spain, and Fornols-Haut in France have been dated at over 17,000 years old. The oldest petroglyphs are dated to approximately the Mesolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. The earliest undisputed African rock art dates back about 10,000 years. The first naturalistic paintings of humans found in Africa date back about 8,000 years apparently originating in the Nile River valley, spread as far west as Mali about 10,000 years ago. Noted sites containing early art include Tassili n'Ajjer in southern Algeria, Tadrart Acacus in Libya (A Unesco World Heritage site), and the Tibesti Mountains in northern Chad.[4] Rock carvings at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa have been dated to this age.[5] Contentious dates as far back as 29,000 years have been obtained at a site in Tanzania. A site at the Apollo 11 Cave complex in Namibia has been dated to 27,000 years.

Cave paintings:

Danza de Cogul, provincia de Lleida, Spain
Cave painting 
Rock paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco, Mexico
Lascaux Caves - Prehistoric Paintings
Lascaux Caves - Prehistoric Paintings

Detail of the Laas Geel cave paintings near Hargeysa, Somaliland/Somalia, showing a cow.

Cave painting at Lascaux












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