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Paleolithic (2 million-10, 000 bce) Coincides with last ice age During the Upper Paleolithic developed rudimentary tools began to express themselves through paintings and carvings people migrated across frozen land, following reindeer
Is Art integral to our human species? Do the objects and paintings of Paleolithic people fit into our definition of art? Aesthetics or style? Conscious representation of something? Symbolic representation?
Problems in the Art Historical approach. Context of discovery and bias of those doing research and writing history Tendency to focus more on things that confirm the researches preconceptions about art, culture and progress How can we ever know the intentions and perceptions of prehistoric people?
In the early years of anthropology, the prevailing view of anthropologists and other scholars was that culture generally develops (or evolves) in a uniform and progressive manner. First Neanderthal bones discovered in 19 th c. Europe. Paleolithic cave paintings also discovered at this time. European thinkers were highly invested in the idea of progress. Scholars are still debating the notion that human culture proceeds in a progressive way, from the primitive to the more sophisticated.
The climates of Spain and France make these areas rich in prehistoric cave art sites Chauvet Cave (Ardèche region of France), discovered 1994, as early as 31, 000 B. C.
Ardèche region of France. The geological evolution of these caves began 100 million years ago with a succession of glacial periods. The limestone of this area makes formation of deep gorges possible through continued force of water level changes.
Hall of Bulls, Lascaux. 15, 000 -10, 000 B. C. E. visit the cave
Hall of Bulls, Lascaux. 15, 000 -10, 000 B. C. E.
Lascaux, ca. 15, 000 -13, 000 B. C. E.
Cave Paintings in Western Europe Deep within the cave, away from human habitation Sophisticated use of pigments, manganese, iron oxide Not all pigments used were local Tools for grinding Animal oils used for binding Hollow reeds used for blowing pigment
Theories about Cave Paintings Henri Breuil - hunting magic, meant to increase the number of animals. David Lewis-Williams- based on ethnographic studies of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies-the paintings were made by paleolithic shamans. R. Dale Guthrie- fantasies of adolescent males, who constituted a large part of the human population at the time. Dean Snow – a good proportion of the hand prints are female
Pech-Merle: Chapel of Bison Panel of Spotted Horses 23, 000 B. C
Herd of rhinoceroses 30, 000 B. C. E. Chauvet Cave, Ardeche, France Discovered in 1993, the carbon dating of these drawings are now in question The sophistication of the Chauvet drawings challenges earlier theories about the development of cave painting Werner Herzog "Cave of Forgotten Dreams“ Scenes from Cave of Forgetton Dreams Bradshaw foundation Breaking News! cave of forgotten dreams Dr. K. Bolman's Micro-lessons Heilbrunn
Chauvet Cave (France) 30, 000 B. C
Chauvet: Lion Panel: With Mammoth
The longest continuously practiced cave and rock paintings stretching from 40, 000 BCE to present day are found in Australia and are made by the Aboriginal culture. Since these artistic traditions have been passed down from generation to generation we know more about their meaning. For the Aboriginal “the act of painting creates a direct link between the past and the present” and the individual “artists do not believe that they create or invent their subjects; rather, the mimis (or ancestral spirits) give them their design” for the artist to simply transmit caves, rocks or flat boards.
Hot topics today. Did these paintings result from an explosion of creativity, marking an evolutionary leap in intelligence? Was representational art present in the earliest humans and even Neanderthal?
Complications in locating cave art in theories of human cultural evolution: Theories about Neanderthal artistic production The general neglect of prehistoric “art” making in non. European sites The simultaneous use of “realistic” figures with geometric symbols
Neanderthal remains first discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southwestern France. 50, 000 years old Researchers today believe this was a deliberate burial Along with DNA evidence that Europeans are a product of interbreeding of Neanderthal and Modern Human, this lessens the difference between us and them.
Neanderthal burials at Shanidar Cave in Iraq. Evidence of flowers from pollen, food remains Discovered in the 1950’s Date of burial- 45, 000 years ago
Recent discover of hand prints, oldest cave art? Thought to be Neanderthal. 48, 000 years old. Spain
Ornament making is not exclusive to modern humans But is body art evidence of higher symbolic activity?
Additive process: clay bison, Dordogne , France. 15, 000 -10, 000 BCE .
15 th to 10 th millennium BCE, Dordogne, France. Reindeer horn, 4 “ .
Female Statues Long considered fertility statues Unlikely that women would have gotten this plump in hunter-gatherer societies Many similar statues found all over the world, though some are quite thin Combination of naturalism and abstraction Found shapes, sacred stones Navel is a natural recess Female statuette from Willendorf, Austria, c. 25, 000 -21, 000 .
Venus of Lespugue Date c. 25, 000 -18, 000 BCE tusk ivory 6 inches Discovered in 1922 in the Rideaux cave of Lespugue (Haute-Garonne) in the foothills of the Pyrenees. .
Female Head Ivory Ca. 23, 000 BCE From Brassempouy, France .
Paleolithic 2, 000 - 10, 000 BCE • 18, 000 BCE -Peak of last glaciations. • Warming of climate creates forests in Europe • Mesopotamia saw warming and filling in of earth created by alluvial build up from mountains to the north. • Egypt saw a formation of large crater from plate shifts: Nile River flows through it.
Neolithic Revolution and the Rise of Civilizations 8, 000 -4, 000 BCE Shift from hunting to agriculture Accompanied by a shift in the way people viewed themselves Jericho settlement, Catal Huyuk (Turkey)gradual development of agriculture in near east, spread to west with migration or shared knowledge
Pottery in Neolithic • Smart History Susa Vase • Rise in need for storage with agrarian settlements
First Fired Pottery • Jamon Culture in Japan • 10, 000 BCE-200 BCE • Jamon refers to the corded pots • Hand built, fired c. 1500 BCE
Neolithic Mammoth Bone House Discovered in Ukraine in the 60’s 15, 000 years old Don's Maps
Jericho, 7000 BCE plastered skull Heads displayed in houses, while rest of the body beneath ground Portraiture tradition that will continue Into Bronze Age Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Rome Symbolic work Suggests a belief that the spirit resides in the head Attempt to preserve life
Early Neolithic settlement, Jericho. 7000 BCE. Settlement fortified with walls.
Catal Huyuk Neolithic Turkey c. 6000 BCE Baked clay Goddess figures with two leopards
Houses built of mud, bricks, timber Religious activity in individual homes, each having its own altar
Hunting Shrine, Catal Huyuk Shift to Neolithic, hunting becomes ritualized, figures static
Hunting Shrine, Catal Huyuk- reconstructed drawing
Agriculture originates in Middle East and spreads to Western Europe Varieties of grain (millet, wheat and barley) brought in by small groups of migrants Encountered hunter/fishers of the Atlantic coast The Neolithic monuments of the Atlantic fringe are unlike anything produced elsewhere Metal working also originated in the east and was carried to western Europe
Neolithic Europe Does not reach the sophistication of Middle East in terms of Centralization Governmental structures Administration of large surpluses of agriculture Monumental architecture Scandinavia, Great Britain, France: standing stones, Barrows, Cromlechs West Kennet Longbarrow, Oxfordshire, England 3500 BCE.
Neolithic Europe West Kennet Longbarrow, Oxfordshire, England 3500 BCE.
Most famous cromlech: Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, England. 2000 B. C. E. Michael Parker Pearson Article skeletal remains Documentary 2
Standing With Stones lecture neolithic Vast network of henges, barrows, cairns, stone circle, hill forts Changing lifestyle of prehistoric Britain, focus on seasons Deforestation New burial find Mystery of the Moor