Text of Chapter One - Prehistoric Art. Prehistoric Europe
Chapter One - Prehistoric Art
What does the term pre-history refer to? Prehistory is a term that refers to all of human history that precedes the invention of writing systems, ca 3,100BC, and the keeping of written records, and it is an immensely long period of time, some ten million years according to current theories.
Paleolithic Hand-Axe. 60,000 years ago. Height 10. Paleolithic From the Greek meaning: paleo = old liithic = stone
Archaeologists at Stonehenge, 2008.
Culture may be defined as the ways of living built up by a group and passed on from one generation to another. It may include behavior, material things, ideas, institutions, and religious truth. Culture is - Learned behavior, not genetic or biological; includes languages, customs, beliefs, technology etc - Shared by a group more than one person to constitute a culture - Is a primary means of adaptation to our environment; often a survival mechanism - A system of interrelated parts (eg. economy related to politics, related to industry)
Woman from Willendorf. c. 24,000 BCE. Height 4 3/8.
Woman from Doln Vestonice. 23,000 BCE. 4 1/4 1 7/10.
Woman from Brassempouy. Probably c. 30,000 BCE. Height 1 1/4.
The Characteristics of the Paleolithic Era (2,000,000 to 10/9,000 BCE): 1) Name comes from the type of primitive stone tools used by early men and women; 2) Homo sapiens appeared about 400,000 year ago; modern homo sapiens appear as early as 120,000 3) their migration out of Africa to Australia and the Americas (100,000-35,000 BCE) was made possible by an Ice Age, which created land bridges; 4) Paleolithic lifestyle was a result of their relationship to nature. They were nomadic hunters, gatherers, and fishers; they did not produce their own food and they lived precariously as peoples completely dependent on their environment. 5) Discoveries include the use of fire for light, heat, and cooking; The invention of stone weapons and tools such as daggers, spear points, axes, choppers, and scrapers; The use of spoken language for communication and the preservation of culture; and religious rituals; and probably the invention of primitive social, political, and economic institutions. 6) Shelters and clothing were made from animal skins and plants. Works of art ranged from decorated tools and weapons to small (fertility?) figures like the Woman of Willendorf to large-scale animal paintings on the walls of the Lascaux Caves (c. 14,000-13,500BC) in southwestern France and the Altamira Cave (c. 14,000-9,500BC) in Spain.
Reconstruction Drawing of Mammoth-Bone Houses. c. 16,00010,000 BCE.
Lion-Human. c. 30,00026,000 BCE. Height 11 5/8.
Spotted Horses and Human Hands. Peche-Merle Cave, France. Horses 25,00024,000 BCE ; hands c. 15,000 BCE. Individual horses over 5 in length.
Prehistoric Wall Painting (Line Drawing).
Hall of Bulls. Lascaux Caves, France. c. 15,000 BCE. Length of largest auroch (bull) 18.
Wall Painting With Horses, Rhinoceroses, and Aurochs. Chauvet Cave, France. c. 32,00030,000 BCE.
atalhyk, Turkey. 74006200 BCE.
atalhyk, Turkey. 74006200 BCE.
Sesklo Stone Foundation House, Greece, 6500 BCE
Early Construction Methods
Wattle and Daub. Neolithic Building Methods. 6000 BCE. Definition: woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw.
Stonehenge. c. 29001500 BCE.
Plan of Stonehenge and Its Surrounding Settlements.
Reconstruction Drawing of Durrington Walls. 2600 BCE.
Rock Art: Boat and Sea Battle, Sweden, Bronze Age c. 1500-500 BCE