Paleolithic Art

Unit 1: c. 30,000 - 500 BCE

  • Mostly concerned hunting-related scenes since Paleolithic peoples hunted for food

  • Used simple tools rather than complex carving tools

Image 1: Apollo 11 Stones

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Name

Apollo 11 Stones

Location

Namibia

Date

25,500 - 25,300 BCE

Material

Charcoal on Stone

  • Human legs + Animal body → Suggests divinity & belief in the supernatural because this creature doesn't exist

  • Meant to be carried in the hand → Could be an amulet for harmony between humans and nature since they hunted wild animals for food

  • Prominent utter → Strong belief in fertility

Image 2: Great Hall of the Bulls

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Name

Great Hall of the Bulls

Location

Lascaux, France

Date

15,000-13,000 BCE

Material

Rock Painting

  • Drawing of the animals → Meant to capture their spirit to ensure a more successful hunt (ritual purpose)

  • 2nd photo shows a large bison (much larger than the human next to it) → Sought to warn people about the dangers of hunting big animals

Image 3: Camelid Sacrum in the Shape of a Canine

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Name

Camelid Sacrum in the Shape of a Canine

Location

Tequixquiac, Central Mexico

Date

14,000-7,000 BCE

Material

Bone

  • Sacrum bone is sacred as it's besides the pelvis → Represents fertility

Image 4: Running Horned Woman

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Name

Running Horned Woman

Location

Tassili n'Ajjer, Algeria

Date

6,000-4,000 BCE

Material

Pigment on Rock

  • Very difficult to reach this isolated rock painting → It's very sacred and meant for ritual purposes

  • The large woman with bull heads running → Represents relationship between humans & animals for survival​

  • Cloud at top could represent rain or grain, and people around her are dancing → Ritual to encourage Agricultural fertility