Prehistoric Europe and Cave Art

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Prehistoric Europe and Cave Art

  1. 1. Prehistoric Europe 40,000-8000 BC
  2. 2. Cavemen? <ul><li>The people who shivered through the last years of Europe’s Ice Age were intelligent Homo sapiens with culture, most importantly a ritual for burying their dead. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do we know about these people, and how do we know it?
  4. 4. Bone needles Stone Axe Flint Tools
  5. 5. But they didn’t just leave tools
  6. 6. <ul><li>The tradition of music making may be among the earliest forms of art. </li></ul><ul><li>Because many musical instruments were made from easily degradable materials (like leather, wood, and sinew), they are often lost </li></ul><ul><li>But flutes made of bone dating to the Paleolithic period in Europe (ca. 35,000–10,000 B.C.) are plentiful. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>By 20,000 B.C., humans had settled on every continent except Antarctica. </li></ul><ul><li>The earliest human occupation occurs in Africa, and it is there that we assume art originated. </li></ul>Coldstream Stone (South Africa)
  8. 8. The Venus of Willendorf 23,000 BC
  9. 9. <ul><li>A 4-inch-high limestone statue </li></ul><ul><li>Found on the banks of the Danube River in Austria </li></ul><ul><li>Just for perspective: She’s five times as old as the Egyptian pyramids! </li></ul>
  10. 11. Cave Art <ul><li>Paleolithic people </li></ul><ul><li>In limestone caverns </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly in southern France and Spain </li></ul><ul><li>Lascaux Caves </li></ul><ul><li>c. 14,000 BC </li></ul>
  11. 12. What did they paint? <ul><li>Their prey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bison </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reindeer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wolves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And animals that are now extinct, like woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>They also painted geometric designs and mysterious squiggles </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>What didn’t they paint? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Themselves. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It’s very rare to see any images of people </li></ul><ul><li>However, some of the caves have records of them: </li></ul>
  14. 15. Why handprints?
  15. 19. <ul><li>When Picasso saw the caves shortly after their discovery, he said, “ They’ve invented everything.” </li></ul><ul><li>The animals are realistic and recognizable </li></ul><ul><li>Some are etched into the stone, </li></ul><ul><li>Most are painted with natural pigments dissolved in water or vegetable oil </li></ul><ul><li>They came up with scaffolding to reach the tops of the walls, too. </li></ul>
  16. 20. <ul><li>The animals are usually shown in a twisted perspective, with the heads in profile but the pair of horns or antlers drawn from the front. </li></ul><ul><li>The intended result may have been to imbue the images with more visual power and magical properties. </li></ul>

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