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Prehistoric Cave Art (Early Art Expressions of Man)

Updated on March 25, 2018
artsofthetimes profile image

Ancient art and architecture isn't only for historians, but for people like us who’ve always been interested in anything olden and periodic.

According to ancient art history and findings of prehistoric cave art, the Cro-Magnon people; the first civilized ancestors of the modern European, were supposed to have made their entry into Europe through Africa or Asia, about 25 millenniums ago, through a slow and extended period that probably spanned over thousands of years.

Cave Art of Prehistoric Man
Cave Art of Prehistoric Man

Prehistoric Cave Art

Prehistoric art records of these groups of people (the cavemen) showed that their sketches were boldly and accurately drawn with line drawings and crude paintings, using roots and plants; and these adorned the ceilings and walls of their caves and their rudimentary hand tools.

Drawings were representations of plants, animals and human forms, skills that must have demanded some form of training and high mental concentration.

The earliest drawings were outlines of their chosen forms only and were devoid of any details or niceties. Later, simple perspectives and foreshortening (drawings that appeared shorter than reality, in order to create a 3-dimensional effect) evolved, and there is even some evidence of compositions of form groupings showing, for example, a group of animals 'on the move'.

Undecipherable motifs have also been discovered, with many scholars of art history believing that they may have been the early man's attempt at hieroglyphic (symbols) inscriptions.

The purpose of the prehistoric cave art drawings is still unclear, but they must have possessed some decorative value. Probably they were meant to 'pretty up' their enclaves, have some religious significance or serve as lucky 'charms' for a bountiful hunting expedition.

Their clay sculptures representing the human form was limited to the depiction of the female. Conventionalism, rather than realism is clearly indicated. For example, the arms, head, and feet were slightly indicated, or, in some cases, totally omitted, but the human reproductive parts were greatly elaborated, suggesting divine appeals for fertility and progeny.

Prehistoric Art History

Prehistoric artworks, as indicated by the discoveries of their creations, can be aptly described as preceding history, or prehistory. It has been suggested that art creations of the caveman may have commenced during a period of thousands of years, while man evolved from the animal state to the human state.

This has sparked the belief that the expression of creativity is instinctive in humans, and therefore the origin of the art of 'interior design' goes way back to the dawn of human civilization, and therefore is an integral part of human needs.

And even though the discoveries of the early man have been found mostly in Europe, there is the probability that human existence and development was happening at the same time in regions like Africa, Asia, and probably in the Americas.

History did not 'begin' until men had the ability to record events in some sort of written or symbolic form, but the prehistoric man lived and flourished thousands of years before any form of art history was documented.

So what is certain is that the earliest decipherable inscriptions of history do not pre-date the prehistoric era of the 37th century B.C.

Source: Interior Design and Decoration by Sherrill Whiton

© 2011 artsofthetimes

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    • artsofthetimes profile imageAUTHOR

      artsofthetimes 

      6 years ago

      Thank you so much Jenubouka, i appreciate your nice comments.

      Wishing you a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

      GodBless

    • profile image

      jenubouka 

      6 years ago

      I love the simplicity of the drawings, and yet they also offer a complexity at the same time with their lines and the restricted mediums at hand.

      It is inspiring to view these and think about our ancestor's way of life, what they enjoyed, and how they expressed themselves.

      Thank you, okay, now this is my favorite piece, (for now)

    • artsofthetimes profile imageAUTHOR

      artsofthetimes 

      6 years ago

      That is so interesting WH I wonder how old those would be. Must go and read up on that. Thanks for sharing the information.

      And thanks for the visit.

      Blessings

    • WesternHistory profile image

      WesternHistory 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks for an interesting hub. In the American west there are quite a few sites where Native Americans created petroglyphs in caves and on the sides of cliffs. Two good sites in New Mexico are the Petroglyph National Monument on the west side of Albuquerque and at Bandelier National Monument northwest of Santa Fe and just a few miles south of Los Alamos.

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