Chapter 1: Prehistoric Art
Prehistory: the time during the development of human
culture before the existence of writing and written language.
Stone A...
The Stone Age
1. The Paleolithic Period is divided into Lower (the oldest),
Middle, and Upper (most recent).
Spans from 2,...
Century = 100 years
Millenium = 1000 years
BCE = Before Common Era
CE = Common Era
c. = circa = means “about” for approxim...
1st

mi l l e n n i u m C E

1st c. CE

1

2nd mill.

3rd. mill.

2nd c. CE 3rd c. CE

100

200

300

1000

2000
The Paleolithic Period: ancient stage of human development
characterized by the use of chipped stone tools, starting
about...
Homo is a genus of primate, the only living species being Homo
sapiens, or humans. The genus Homo is characterized by an u...
Sculpture in the round – 3 dimensional sculpture you can
see from all angles
Relief sculpture – projects from a background...
Architecture applies the enclosure of space with some
aesthetic intent. In Upper Paleolithic period we see some
complex sh...
Cave Painting: c. 40,000 BCE we see sophisticated cave painting
in Europe. The meaning behind these images and the impulse...
Homo sapiens sapiens used three painting methods:
1. Drawing with fingers or blocks of ocher
2. Chewing charcoal or other ...
Wall painting with Horses,
Rhinoceroses, and Aurochs. Chauvet
Cave. Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, Ardeche
Gorge, France. c. 32,000-30...
Best known cave paintings are in Lascaux, France. Lots of
scenes with animals, about 600 paintings and 1,500 engravings.

...
Bird-headed man with bison. Lascaux Cave. c. 15,000 BCE.
Paint on limestone.
Bison. Le Tuc d’Audobert, France. c. 13,000 BCE. Unbaked clay.
Shift from Paleolithic to Neolithic: The development of
agriculture. Plant and animal domestication. This led to more
perm...
Post-and-lintel construction: 2 upright horizontal elements
(posts) with a supporting horizontal element (lintel). Lots of...
Megalithic architecture: (Greek for Large Stone) In western and
northern Europe we see ceremonial structures erected as
me...
http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/stonehenge-salisbury-plain-england.html

Stonehenge. Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, Engla...
Bronze Age – Age of metals appeared in Europe around 3000
BCE. Evidence of copper, gold, and tin was being mined,
worked a...
Discussion Questions
What does prehistoric mean?
When was art first starting to be seen in prehistoric times?
What were th...
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LU 2: Prehistoric Art

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LU 2: Prehistoric Art

  1. 1. Chapter 1: Prehistoric Art
  2. 2. Prehistory: the time during the development of human culture before the existence of writing and written language. Stone Age: prehistoric cultural stage characterized by the creation and use of stone tools. The Stone Age is divided into three different eras, depending on the degree of sophistication and fashioning of stone tools: Paleolithic Era Mesolithic Era Neolithic Era Paleo = old (Greek) Mesos = middle Neo = new Lithos = stone
  3. 3. The Stone Age 1. The Paleolithic Period is divided into Lower (the oldest), Middle, and Upper (most recent). Spans from 2,500,000 – 8000 BCE (120,000 – Homo Sapiens) (35,000 – First works of art) Upper Paleolithic – 40,000 to 8,000 BCE 2. Neolithic (Europe) Spans from 6,500 – 1200 BCE
  4. 4. Century = 100 years Millenium = 1000 years BCE = Before Common Era CE = Common Era c. = circa = means “about” for approximate date 3rd c. BCE 3rd . mill. BCE 2nd mill. BCE -2000 2nd. c. BCE 1st c. BCE 1st m i l l e n n i u m B C E -1000 -300 -200 -100 -1
  5. 5. 1st mi l l e n n i u m C E 1st c. CE 1 2nd mill. 3rd. mill. 2nd c. CE 3rd c. CE 100 200 300 1000 2000
  6. 6. The Paleolithic Period: ancient stage of human development characterized by the use of chipped stone tools, starting about 2.5 million years ago. Art and representational images (depicting objects, figures, or scenes as seen in reality) were created in the Upper Paleolithic period beginning about 38,000 BCE in Australia, Africa and Europe, with the emergence of our ancestors, the homo sapiens sapiens.
  7. 7. Homo is a genus of primate, the only living species being Homo sapiens, or humans. The genus Homo is characterized by an upright posture, large brains, high intelligence, and hairlessness. Homo Sapiens: are the species to which all modern human beings belong. They appeared around 200,000 years ago. Neanderthal: archaic humans of the Middle Paleolithic period, who emerged between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago and were replaced by early modern humans between 35,000 and 28,000 years ago. The name Neanderthal derives from the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf, Germany. Homo sapiens sapiens arrived about 300,000 years after the Neanderthals and outlived them due to new cognitive abilities: 1. Improvements in recognizing and benefitting from variations in the natural environment. 2. Social networking and alliance making skills (enabled organized hunting) 3. THINKING SYMBOLICALLY – were able to create representational analogies between one person, animal, or object and another – this marks the evolutionary origin of art.
  8. 8. Sculpture in the round – 3 dimensional sculpture you can see from all angles Relief sculpture – projects from a background Lion-human from Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany. c. 30,000 BCE Mammoth ivory, height 11 5/8”
  9. 9. Architecture applies the enclosure of space with some aesthetic intent. In Upper Paleolithic period we see some complex shelters being built.
  10. 10. Cave Painting: c. 40,000 BCE we see sophisticated cave painting in Europe. The meaning behind these images and the impulse that drove them is the source of great debate. We can only rely on deductive reasoning to determine the meanings because this is prehistoric art. What we do know is the impulse was not simply for pleasure or beauty. Altamira, Spain. c. 40,000 BCE Ochre on limestone
  11. 11. Homo sapiens sapiens used three painting methods: 1. Drawing with fingers or blocks of ocher 2. Chewing charcoal or other pigment and spraying it over hand, using it as a stencil 3. Dipping paintbrushes made of hair or moss They also engraved onto walls using flint to carve out lines and they modeled damp clay into relief sculptures. The previous lion-man was carved from woolly mammoth ivory.
  12. 12. Wall painting with Horses, Rhinoceroses, and Aurochs. Chauvet Cave. Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, Ardeche Gorge, France. c. 32,000-30,000 BCE. Paint on limestone. What is the meaning of these carefully rendered, realistic paintings? They were not animals that are hunted for food. There are many hypotheses for what these cave paintings mean. One is David Lewis-Williams’s shamanism theory. The shaman goes into a trance and then paints his visions on the wall. People would return to these cave paintings generation after generation. Is it a ritual to get in touch with the supernatural? Most likely some sort of religious ritual.
  13. 13. Best known cave paintings are in Lascaux, France. Lots of scenes with animals, about 600 paintings and 1,500 engravings. Hall of Bulls. Lascaux Cave. Dordogne, France. c. 15,000 BCE. Paint on limestone.
  14. 14. Bird-headed man with bison. Lascaux Cave. c. 15,000 BCE. Paint on limestone.
  15. 15. Bison. Le Tuc d’Audobert, France. c. 13,000 BCE. Unbaked clay.
  16. 16. Shift from Paleolithic to Neolithic: The development of agriculture. Plant and animal domestication. This led to more permanent architectural innovation, what we call “home” today. Wheat and barley was cultivated and sheep, goats, cattle and pigs were bred. They also balanced hunting and gathering with farming and animal breeding to maintain a ready food supply. This was happening around 6,000 BCE in Europe.
  17. 17. Post-and-lintel construction: 2 upright horizontal elements (posts) with a supporting horizontal element (lintel). Lots of early structures are composed of this kind of building.
  18. 18. Megalithic architecture: (Greek for Large Stone) In western and northern Europe we see ceremonial structures erected as megaliths. In the case of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, the stones weighed a couple tons each and were carried over great distances. This tells us that the society operating at that time was a cooperative one, working together to erect a miraculous monument. http://www.history.com/shows/historys-mysteries/videos/historys-myst
  19. 19. http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/stonehenge-salisbury-plain-england.html Stonehenge. Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England. c. 2900—1500 BCE
  20. 20. Bronze Age – Age of metals appeared in Europe around 3000 BCE. Evidence of copper, gold, and tin was being mined, worked and traded in central and southern Europe. Metal was first used as ornamentation. Then came the discovery of mixing tin and copper to produce an alloy, bronze.
  21. 21. Discussion Questions What does prehistoric mean? When was art first starting to be seen in prehistoric times? What were the main differences between homo sapiens sapiens and Neanderthals? What is sculpture-in-the-round? What are some theories behind cave painting? What are some theories behind the meaning of Stonehenge? What is bronze? What are the main differences between Paleolithic and Neolithic?
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