ARHS 2913 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Lascaux, Neolithic Europe, Homo Sapiens

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human life originated in Africa 4 and a half million yrs ago
around 100 thousand yrs ago homo sapiens migrated across Asia Europe and the Americas
around 30000BCE that we see the first ex. of cultural productions in the form of sculpture and paintings
Paleolithic Art of Africa
1969-1972 scientist found several stone plaques with paint on them depicting animals
roughly 23,000BCE
Animal Facing Left
seems that spiritual belief was important as the animals appear to be hybrid creations
Paleolithic Art of Europe
one of the earliest sculptures known discovered in Germany
Human with Feline-Head
about 1ft, mammoth ivory, 30,000-28,000BCE
hybrid form
Venus Figures
Woman of Willendorf, 22,000-21,000BCE
female attributes emphasized
disproportionate
artist would have been guided by the shape of the stone from which they carved
must look at large numbers of representations to find purpose of these works
suggests that they represent fertility
Animals in Paleolithic Art
bison are common
Two Bison, France, 12,000BCE
modeling - shape the desired form out of soft clay
Bison with Turned Head, 12,000BCE
carving - carve the desired form from hard stone and then incise (scratch in) the details
Lascaux Cave, 15,000-13,000BCE
Bulls
animals represented in profile while some attributes, like the horns, are represented as if from the
front
generally deep inside caves, in areas not easily accessible
paintings concentrated in specific areas
Horse
some cases of animals pierced with arrows
Spotted Horses and negative Hand Imprints
hand prints!!
Bird-Headed Man with Bison and Rhinoceros, 15,000-13,000BCE
suggests narrative
Neolithic Mesopotamia
around 9,000BCE, climate changes and people begin to domesticate animals and cultivate plants
deviation from hunter/gatherer to established communities
specialization of labor
many sophisticated neolithic communities found in Mesopotamia
Jericho, located in the Jordan River Valley, 7000BCE
Great Stone Tower in Jericho 8000-7000BCE
first known permanent stone fortification
Plaster Covered Human Skull, Jericho, 7000-6000BCE
seashells used as eyes, hair painted on
when someone died, the head was removed, covered in plaster, and buried separately
Seated Woman, 7000-6000BCE
appears to be a lion throne, status
Art of Europe
no comparable sites appeared in Europe until around 1400BCE, mostly western Europe
House Interior, Skara Brae, 3,100-2,600BCE
Stonehenge, Willshire England, 2,000BCE
strong evidence of it being a funeral site and a place of healing
functions as an astronomical observatory, can see the summer solstice from the heel stone
Menhir Statues
first examples of large scale free-standing sculptures
3-4ft high, carved in similar ways, 2000BCE
abstract human figurines
possibly served as guardians, no one knows tho
cave paintings from neolithic Europe
People and Animals, 4000-2000BCE
most notable dierence between paleolithic and neolithic
towards entrance of cave instead of deep in the cave
more depiction of human figures
suggestion of animals being domesticated
fluidity in forms, more naturalistic
seems to be a narrative and a thought-out composition
clear level of abstraction (intentional)
reflect a shift and probably served a very dierent purpose than paleolithic cave paintings
seem to be documents of life
humans need to create, reflect the nature of existence
cave paintings in neolithic Northern Africa
Science with Cattle and Figures, Pastoralist Style, Algeria 5000-2000BCE
men with herds
woman relaxing, socializing
Horses and Chariot, Horse Style, Algeria, 2000-5000BCE
trade routes (region become too dry to inhabit)
Figures with Camels, Camel Style
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