The upper part of the walls and the ceilings of the Lascaux Caves are all painted. Visitors could see mostly oxen, horses, and bisons. One of the most famous painting are the Chinese horses, represented here surrounded by red cows.Look at how the painting of the cow is not finished. Look at the details of the horse mane. Caveman are always presented as being primitive but their motor skills were developped when you look at this paintings.
What does this say about the relationship then between the man and the buffalo? .Humans are rarely represented in the caves.You can see the dots and lines: this sign is often represented in the cave, can it be the artist’s signature? Can they be numbers?Compare the quality of the animals drawings and the human drawing.The location of this painting is well hidden in the cave: forbidden art?
. You can actually see the horses and now we have the rhinos charging each other. Rhinos facing each other is unique in paleolithic art. We can also tell that artists were not equal already then. Different degree of mastering the techniques.
The animals in the Chauvet caves are mainly horses, rhinos, bears, mammoth, stags, and even an owl.One animal, a bison, is made out of dots, precursor of the pointillism. They also use perspective and shading. This panel of horses actually shows some perspective, showing some animals on the same plane. They used smudging to produce the shadows and somebody who entered the cave said that the artist had highlighted the outer edge of the drawing by chiseling into the white rock surface.
“The Panther Panel” - Chauvet Cave,
This is an auroch. The drawing looks like it has been done on top of another drawing or sketching. The auroch was bigger than our bull and disappeared in the XVIIth century. That’s when you realize that their art is the photograph book of their time.
Here you can see a bear. The artists did not live in the caves, but the bears did. The traces on the wall may have been left by bear paws. The bear lived there in winter and the humans came in the summer.
Carving - one of an owl also exists in the cave. You can actually see the white rock underneath. The carving is less detailed than the painting. They used silex to carve.
The owl can only be found in Chauvet.
“The Panther Panel” - Chauvet Cave, bear outline (top), hyena. Again, not all artists have equal talent.
Stonehenge is on the Salisbury Plain in England and is believed to have religious significance due to its many alignments to celestial events. (Primarily the rising and setting of the sun on the winter and summer solstice.)
Animism encompasses the beliefs
that there is no separation between
the spiritual and physical (or
material) worlds, and souls or
spirits exist, not only in humans,
but also in all other animals, plants,
rocks, natural phenomena such as
thunder, geographic features such
as mountains or rivers, or other
entities of the natural environment.
Things can behave like other things
man can become animal
trees can talk
The spirit world is another dimension
that can be entered and exited
A range of beliefs and practices
regarding communication with the
spiritual world. Shamans are
intermediaries or messengers
between the human world and the
spirit worlds and are said to treat
ailments/illness by mending the soul.
The shaman also enters supernatural
realms or dimensions to obtain
solutions to problems afflicting the
Human with feline head, from
ca. 30,000–28,000 BCE.
Mammoth ivory, 11 5/8” high.
Ulmer Museum, Ulm.
resembling a human
face, from Makapansgat,
South Africa, ca.
3,000,000 BCE. Reddish
brown jasperite, approx.
2 3/8” wide.
Floating Forms (no ground
Natural features guide
Idea vs. Observation
Bison, detail of a painted
ceiling in the cave at Altamira,
Spain, ca. 12,000–11,000
BCE. Each bison 5’ long.
Spotted horses and negative hand imprints, wall painting in the cave at Pech-Merle, France,
ca. 22,000 BCE. 11’ 2” long.
How did they create the
Artists used bone, sticks, brush
made with animal hair,
hands/fingers, and sharpened
rocks.Dark caverns were lit
with torches and prehistoric
lamps: made with animal fat,
In Lascaux, scaffolds and
ladders were built to get to the
Paints came from earth minerals
and organic material - crushed and
mixed with cave water to create
Red, yellow ochre
Hall of the Bulls (left wall) in the cave at Lascaux, France, ca. 15,000–13,000 BCE. Largest bull 11’
By 1599 only 24 remained. In 1602
an audit revealed only four healthy
aurochs left, but it stated that there
were many more sick ones
suffering from an illness spread
from "other cows." In 1620 only one
female remained, and in 1630 the
king's inspector reported that she
had died three years earlier. A few
of them reportedly were alive in
captivity in the early 1600s, but it is
not known if any outlived those in
Nude woman (Venus of
Willendorf), from Willendorf,
Austria, ca. 28,000–25,000 BCE.
Limestone, 4 1/4” high.
•Small, portable, frontal
•Emphasis on breasts,
protruding stomach and pubic
•Lack of facial features shows
the individual is not important.
•fertility and nursing survival of
the species ?
The idea that one can
influence something based on
its relationship or resemblance
to another thing. This include
beliefs that certain herbs with
yellow sap can cure jaundice,
that walnuts could strengthen
the brain because of the nuts'
resemblance to brain, that red
beet-juice is good for the
blood, that phallic-shaped roots
will cure male impotence.
Woman holding a bison horn, from
Laussel, France, ca. 25,000–20,000
BCE. Painted limestone, approx. 1’ 6”
high. Musée d’Aquitaine, Bordeaux.
Middle Stone Age 9,000-4,500
Last phase of Paleolithic age
Intensified food gathering
Taming of the dog
Tribes and bands of 100-2000
Humans begin to control their
Transition from Hunter gatherer to
The Mesolithic is not well defined
except for the lack of domesticated
plants or animals
(Dogs for hunting is an exception.)
cattle, sheep, goats, horses,
wheat (Near East), corn
(Mesoamerica) and rice (Central China or
Development of permanent settlements and
Stones for grinding grains
Pottery for cooking and
Metallurgy for making
Roads and trade routes
Exchange of ideas
Simple to complex social structure
(nonfarm) and trade
Rise of money
chiefdom to state
Legal institutions and
Rise of ART
A more leisured society
because high productivitya allows freedom for
some from subsistence activities.
Full-time artisans produce of
luxury goods which include
sculpture, painting, drawing
They also include more
intangible pursuits, such as
music, drama, dance, and even
is an anarchist critique of the
origins and progress of civilization.
Primitivists argue that the shift from
hunter-gatherer to agricultural
subsistence gave rise to social
stratification, coercion, and
alienation. They advocate a return
to non-"civilized" ways of life
abolition of division of labour or
specialization, and abandonment of
Many traditional anarchists reject
the critique of civilization while
some endorse it but do not
consider themselves primitivists
such as Wolfi Landstreicher.
Anarcho-primitivists are often
distinguished by their focus on the
praxis of achieving a feral state
Rock painting suggests transition
between foraging and herding to
domestication of animals
Other rock art show war scenes,
herdsmen warding off lion attacks, and
dancing, usually with both human and
The range is noted for its prehistoric
rock art and other ancient
archaeological sites, dating from
Neolithic times when the local climate
was more moist, with savannah rather
than desert. It was have been dated to
9-10 millennia ago or older, using OSL
The art depicts herds of cattle, large
wild animals including crocodiles, and
human activities such as hunting and
The range's exceptional density of rock
art paintings-pictograms and
engravings-petroglyphs, and the
presence of many prehistoric vestiges,
are remarkable testimonies to Neolithic
Menhirs are vertical columns
of massive stone (post)
Dolmens are the stone
“tables” placed on the dolmens
This structure is called a
Trilithons arranged in a circle
form a Chromlech
Stonehenge: Aubrey Holes
Outside the circle are 56
Aubrey holes, named after
their discoverer John Aubrey
These are 3-foot holes filled
A ditch surrounds the outer
The holes are said to be
calibrated to track the eclipse
of the moon over 56 years
Other Parts of Stonehenge
Outside the structure is the
Heel Stone, placed northeast.
Within the cromlech is the Altar
Stone, partly surrounded by
five inner trilithons, made of
Viewed from the Altar stone, it
is said that the sun rises
directly over the heel stone in
Stonehenge is believed to
have religious significance due
to its many alignments to
celestial events. (Primarily the
rising and setting of the sun on
the winter and summer
Fertile Crescent: The First
The earliest known sites are found in
the Near East around the so-called
Fertile Crescent, from the Upper Nile
to the East Mediterranean (Levant)
Then into Turkey and Syria and to
Jericho: The Oldest Fortified City Pop: 2,000
• Jordan River, Palestine
• Mud brick houses
• Fortified monumental city wall
• Presence of fresh-water spring
• Walls 5 feet wide, 20 feet tall
• Surrounded by ditch
Great stone tower built
into the settlement wall,
Jericho, ca. 8000–7000
Human figure, from Ain Ghazal,
Jordan, ca. 6750–6250 BCE.
Plaster, painted and inlaid with
bitumen, 3’ 5 3/8” high. Louvre,
“spring of the gazelle”
32 figures found
12”-40” tall (large)
Plaster around bundles of weeds
No genitalia (only breasts)
Faces painted with yellow ochre
Possibly dressed with wigs and clothing
Large heads, small arms
Ghosts…(lure into figure)…?
Gods…(man, woman, child)…?
Çatal Höyük, Turkey
Precursor to the first “civilization” in Iraq
Manufacturing village:pottery, metallurgy,
No streets; enter and exit through chimney
Houses form one continuous wall to the
12 levels over 800 years
Trade: obsidian and manufactured
goods( arts, crafts, weaving, smelting
copper and lead)
No streets, no doors
Enter through chimney
• 12 levels over 800 years
• Trade: obsidian and
manufactured goods( arts,
crafts, weaving, smelting
copper and lead)
• No streets, no doors
• Enter through chimney
• Enter on south wall
• Houses vary in size, but all
same basic plan
• Bury dead beneath the floors
Catal Hoyuk, Turkey, Southern Anatolia, ca. 7,500-5,700 BCE.
Reconstruction of settlement dwelling
Landscape with volcanic eruption (?), watercolor copy of a wall painting from Level
VII, Çatal Höyük, Turkey, ca. 6150 BCE.