• Paleolithic or Old Stone Age
(Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age)
The time between the end of
most recent period of glaciation
(c. 10000 BC) and the beginnings
• Paleolithic art appears to have
taken three principal forms:
• Portable sculptures of women and
• Paintings on the walls and ceiling
of caves and
• The decoration of artifacts with
PALEOLITHIC AGE TOOLS
•To hunt for food, early humans
•first by sharpening the ends of
sticks, but later by attaching a
sharp stone spear-tip to wood
using animal sinew.
•Representational art depicted
everyday events such as food
collecting, hunting, building and
•Cave paintings representing
the life of Paleolithic age and
their hunting techniques.
Lascaux is a complex of caves in
southwestern France famous for its
Paleolithic cave paintings.
•Tools were made for a wide
range of purpose and art
continued to develop.
PALEOLITHIC AGE CAVE ART
BISON at salon della grotta in France
Depiction of Paleolithic gatherer making
cave painting, Europe 10000 BC .
• Neolithic or New Stone Age (c. 6800-2500 BC) that is the
period from the beginnings of agriculture to the widespread
use of metal tools; the Bronze Age (c. 2500-1250 BC); and the
Iron Age (c.1250 BC to AD 1).
• This is the final stage of cultural
evolution or technological development
among prehistoric humans.
•It was characterized by
stone tools shaped by
polishing or grinding,
domesticated plants or
animals, settlement in
permanent villages, and the
appearance of such crafts as
pottery and weaving.
New Stone Age is most
frequently used in connection
with agriculture which is the
time when cereal cultivation
and animal domestication was
Because agriculture developed
at different times in different
regions of the world, there is no
single date for the beginning of
Division of Labor
-Men hunting game animals
-Women gathering fruits, berries, and
Developed simple tools
-Spears & axes made from bone & stone
Spirituality and Religion may have begun
Nomadic hunters and food gatherers
20,000 BC to 9500
•Small Composite flint tools,
•Stone adzes and
•Wooden objects such as canoes and bows
•Characterized by the introduction of
•Humans cultivate crops and domesticate
•Villages continued to divide work
between men and women
•Women's status declined men took lead
in most areas of early societies
This was the type of
by the primeval man
to get shelter and
•From wild beasts and
Structures created in wood and stone.
•Fire used on paved hearths.
•No buildings for any special purposes
The oldest and most common types of
•Natural underground spaces, large enough
for a human.
•Example: Rock shelters, Grottos, Sea
Located in southern French cities.
•Oval in shape(8m-15m X 4m-6m).
•Built close to sea shores.
•Built using stakes with stones as
•Stout posts along axis.
•Floor made of organic matter and
A more sophisticated sought.
•Wood framework covered
with skins, held in place by
rough oval mammoth bones,
enclosing 15 hearths.
•Consisted of foundation wall
of mammoth jaws and long
bones, capped with skulls.
•Roofed with tree branches,
overlaid by tusks.
•Erected against one wall of cave.
•Defined at base by stones(12m x 4m).
•Skin curtain and roof draped over posts.
•May have two compartments, each having
an entrance on the longer side.
Skirts weighed down with pebbles.
•Open air hearths.
•Wooden posts driven into earth
covered with skins.
•At a later stage, were secured by
Villages arranged systematically.
•Houses aligned in rows.
•More regular plans.
•Artifacts came into existence.
•Settlements began around water
•Fishing, cultivation of cereals and
•Animals were domesticated,
farming tools were developed.
•Dwellings were more durable as
compared to that in the Paleolithic
The structure mainly comprised of
•Plans were trapezoidal in shape.
•The size varied from 5.5-30m.
•They had wide entrances facing
the water bodies (rivers).
•Floors were plastered with lime.
•Posts were reinforced with stones.
•More common in eastern Europe
with severely low temperatures.
•Oval trapezoidal, pear shaped
•Central post holes indicating
existence of roof.
•Constructed by making shallow
depressions in the ground
surrounded by a ring of mammoth
bones and tusks.
Many changes took place.
•Production of food.
•Developments in agriculture lead to settling down.
•Dwellings became more sustainable.
•Houses were built with square/rectangular plans, with sections divided
with animal skins.
TIMBER FRAMED HOUSES
•Square plans:25’ x25’
•Mud walls with 3’ deep footings.
•These were more durable as
compared to the earlier ones.
•Pitched and thatched roofs with
•Interiors raised, plastered with
Rectangular plans(20’ x26’-150’).
•Oak posts made the framework
covered with clay.
•Floors were defined with layers of
clay over a base of logs.
•It consisted of 3 types of plans:
•Entrance facing the east.
•Central part being the living room.
•The third part containing deep storage
•Living room combined with storage.
SINGLE BAY HOUSES:
•Having living rooms only.
DOME SHAPED HOUSES
•Cul a Bhail, was found on Jura, an
island off the west coast of Scotland.
•It is very much like a tholos, although
they were more dome shaped. But
different materials sometimes make
for a slightly different shape.
•The tholoi on Cyprus had stone
foundations and mud brick domes,
and in Mesopotamia they were made
from mud brick.
•The mud brick was plastered over
with adobe, while this house was
made of stone, wood and thatch but
the basic idea is the same.
DRY STONE HOUSES
Stone built houses with 3m
thick cavity walls.
•Inner, outer caves were
made of dry stones and the
interiors were covered with
•Rectangular plan with
•Thatched roofs with a
smoke hole at the top
positioned over central
REMAINS OF SKARA BRAE
EVOLUTION OF TOMBS IN NEOLITHIC PERIOD
DOLMENS are Two or more stones supporting a large one
at the top.
•Also called cromlechs (brythonic origin).
•Settlements lead to building of monumental
•These were mainly collective tombs.
Covering mound (38m x32m) surrounded
by wide space with wide ditch beyond.
•Entrance passage 1m wide and 1.5m
high. burial chamber(5sqm)
•Smooth walls built with rectangular
blocks and fine joints.
•Three cells at three sides of the
chamber. Built mainly with masoned
walls and corbelled roof.
Corbeled vault of the main chamber
in the passage grave, Newgrange,
Ireland, ca. 3200-2500 BCE
Single grave burials.
•Variable forms in exterior
and interior forms and
arrangements and groupings.
•In their simplest form,
barrows consisted of earth or
•Others were timber
mortuary houses or stone
EARTHEN LONG BARROWS
A long barrow is a prehistoric monument usually dating to the
early Neolithic period.
•They are rectangular or trapezoidal tumuli or earth mounds
traditionally interpreted as collective tombs.
•Long barrows are also typical for several Celtic, Slavic, and Baltic
cultures of Northern Europe of the 1st millennium AD.
Gussage Down in the Cranborne Chase area
of Dorset, U.K.
STONE HENGE (3100-2000 BC) Wiltshire, England
•Circle is 97’ in diameter; trilithons 24’ high.
•The circles of trilithons at Stonehenge probably functioned as an
astronomical observatory and solar calendar.
•The sun rises over its “heel stone” at the summer solstice. Some
of the megaliths weigh 50 tons.
•Post and lintel construction
•Megaliths are 21 to 24 feet tall, including height of lintel, and buried
four feet in the ground
•Solar and lunar orientation
•Stones dragged from far away to this site
•Circle of megaliths embrace structure, enclosing it
•Inside circle of megaliths is a larger horseshoe-shaped group of
megaliths which frame an “Altar Stone”
•Horseshoe-shaped stones face midsummer sunrise over “Heel Stone”
•“Altar Stone” is a green sandstone taken from a mine in Wales, over
200 miles away
•Heaviest stones 50 tons apiece, hauled by sledges (sleds)
•Tools for building: ropes, levers, rollers, axes
•Each stone had clearly
been worked with the
final visual effect in
mind; the pillars widen
slightly towards the top,
in order that their
constant when viewed
from the ground.
•The lintel stones curve
slightly to continue the
circular appearance of
the earlier monument.
surfaces of the stones
are smoother and more
finely worked than the
The lintels (horizontal monoliths) were
fitted to one another using a woodworking
method, the “tongue-and-groove joint”
• Natufian dwellings were
two types flimsy brush
wood shelters or
windbreaks built in front
of caves on stone
pavements or more
frequently circular or
oval dry stone huts built
in open settlements
near water sources in
the limestone uplands.
• The transition to
rectangular mud bricks
began in this period and
continued into the
•At Ain Mallaha near Lake Hulen,
Israel (9000-8000 BC) there were
about 50 dry-stone huts on an open
site of 2000 Sqm.
•They are circular, semi
subterranean and rock-lined, from
3m to 9m Dia.
• The beehive forms were
constructed of reeds or matting and
were probably supported on posts.
• The huts were dug into the bank on the upper side to a depth of
1.3m, and the entrance were located on the lower side.
• The huts had stone paved floors, and wall finished with lime plaster
painted with red orche.
• Similar kind of huts were found at Wadi Fallah, Nahal Oren & Beidha.
• The Khirokitia culture of the
aceramic,Neolithic period in Cyprus
(c. 5650 BC)
• This comprised about a thousand
houses and approached by stone
• The houses are Circular 3m to 8m in
diameter, lower parts of the walls
were made of local lime stone and
dome superstructure of pise or
• Some houses had double walls the
outer leaf acts as a retaining wall.
• Lofts supported on stone pillars and
number of outbuildings used for
grinding corn, storage, cooking and
• Beehive shaped tholoi were built in Mesopotamian lowlands during the
Neolithic period at Arpachiyah (c.5000 BC)
• Dwellings which are keyhole shaped plan had walls up to 2m thick.
• Rectangular anteroom were up to 19m long and dome chamber upto 10m
• The walls were of plastered tauf occasionally painted red and roof were
•Occupied between 6300 BC to 5400 BC
•Supported a population of upto 6000 people.
•It was the largest & most cosmopolitan city of its time.
•It had an extensive economy
based on specialized craft &
•The city was a trading center.
•The size of the city & its wealth
are a product of its status as a
•Physically it was highly organized
with elaborate architectural
•Houses were packed in one
continuous block punctuated by
•Houses were of one story mud
•No streets in settlement and
access to houses was through the
CATAL HUYUK- SHRINES & DWELLINGS
•Many Houses have cult rooms
decorated with bull heads
•Some Houses appear to be shrines
•Houses had main rooms with in
built clay furniture, fire places and
ladder to the roof.
• Houses of Imiris Gora (c. 4660 – 3955 BC) in Transcaucasia were round or
oval, 3m to 4.5m in diameter and were built of mud brick on stone foundation
• As in Natufian dwellings many were semi subterranean.
• Several of the houses had keyhole shaped plan, with internal buttresses to
take the thrust where the domes abutted, and others had out houses
arranged round courtyards.
• Latterly two roomed houses evolved with buttressed walls and flat roofs
supported on timber posts.
• The village had a population estimated at 200 – 250.
• In Jericho (c. 8350 – 7350 BC) of lowest Neolithic levels many round
and oval shaped houses spreading over 4 ha (10 acres) were found.
• Each house of about 5m in diameter have evolved from Natufian
drystone tradition, but they were built of loaf-shaped mud bricks
with indentation on the convex face to give a key to the clay mortar.
• The bricks supported domed superstructure of branches covered
•The houses are pre pottery Neolithic township encircled by a stone
wall 3m thick, 4m high and over 700m in circumference.
•The houses with solid walls and wide doorways with rounded jambs.
•Closely packed but seem to have intercommunication through screen
walls and courtyards.
•They had highly burnished lime plaster floors laid on gravel and
stained red, pink and orange, and plastered walls with red painted
•Some of the walls were also decorated with geometric designs
• Tell Ramad at Syria(c.
6000 BC) south west of
Damascus, round or oval
semi subterranean house
were superseded late in
• Rectangular one roomed
houses of mud brick on
stone foundation which
were separated by narrow
•In the aceramic Neolithic period at Hacilar (c.
7500 – 6000 BC) in Anatolia, rectangular dwelling
were built of mud brick on stone foundation .
•No complete house plans have survived, but they
appear to have been multi roomed, plastered
internally and painted in cream and red bands.
•Later in the period at Hacilar (c. 5400 BC)
more substantial rectangular mud brick houses
10 m x 4 m were built with walls over a meter
•In its final stage (c. 5400 – 5000 BC) Hacilar was fortified with a stone
wall, which enclosed an area 70 m x 35 m.
•Its central courtyard was ringed by blocks of two storey houses, with
roof access and separated from each other by small fenced yards.
• Jarmo (IRAQ)(c. 7090 -
5000 BC) in the Zagros
Mountains had a
population about 150
people and was made up
of 20-30 small,
rectangular mud houses.
• The lower levels of
0ccupation dating from
6500 – 6000 BC were built
of tauf with mud floor laid
• Each house had an open courtyard measuring roughly 3 m x
4m and comprised several small rectangular rooms, packed into a
space about 5 m x 6 m.