Referring to prehistoric times, makes us be really precised in the definition of what Prehistory is. Prehistory refers to the time before people developed writing systems, therefore, before the existance of written documents.
Basically, the main evidences of artistic objects appeared on the period known as Stone Age. But this simple period lasted around 50,000 years b.c. So, historians have divided this large period in three main ages:
1. Paleolithic or Old Stone Age (50,000 - 8,000 b.c.)
2. Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age (8.000 - 6,000/4,000 b.c.)
3. Neolithic or New Stone Age (6,000 - 4,000 b.c)
It is important to remember that the knowledges we have from these eras, are based in the few evidences left, so many come from inferences made by scientists. In the early twentieth century, scholars rejected the idea of the nineteenth ones, they proposed that prehistoric cave paintings might be the conclusion of rites performed to enhance the fertility of the animals on which people dependend for food. In 1909, an anthropologist proposed that cave paintings were expressions of "sympathetic magic". He suggested that the painters may have thought that producing a picture of a bison lying down would ensure that hunters found the animal asleep and ready to be hunted. Read the following article and try to find at least three ideas that could be the origin of art production.
Let´s see how they imagine life could have been on those times:
Paleolithic or Old Stone Age
Paleolithic cultures were nomadic, subsisting by hunting or gathering, and moving from plaxce to place in search of food. They made shelters in caves or tents made from animal skins. Fire have been discovered thousands of years before and although the invention of writing was still a long way off, there are some evidence that language had been developed. The expression media were mainly through painting and scultpture
Two of the great evidences of the works that are also mentioned as the Sixtine Chapel of prehistoric times are Lascaux caves in France and Altamira Caves in Spain.The materials used in both are very similar and include basically animal fat and blood.
Take a tour to these extraordinary evidences by getting into the two webpages.
Artists of the paleolithic produced a wide range of small sculptures made od ivory, bone, stone and limestone (kind of clay). Perhaps the most famous paleolithic sculptures are the ones known as the Venuses. The main example is the Venus of Willendorf from Austria, calculated to have around 30,000.
Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age
This was a period of transition more important cultural and environmental changes that for its artistic legacy. The circumstances that surrounded this era made people to change their habits and activities. This was the time that followed the end of the ice Age, thus the animals that they used to hunt disappeared so people started to gather around ponds where fishing turned to be their main activity. Also these led to a partial settlement of small group starting the transition from nomadic life to settlement.
Neolithic or New Stone Age
As people adopted a settled, agricultural way of life, they needed formal shelters, so they began to build walls, storage spaces, and animal shelters. Also, the first tombs and monuments built from huge stones appeared in the Neolithic period. Many megalithic tombs are preserved throughout Europe. Three main ones are recognized: menhir, dolmen and cromlech.
The most famous of these monuments is Stonhenge in Salsbury plain in England. Take a tour to this marvelous place.
Also, you can review the contents of the presentation about Prehistoric art
After reviewing these materials, please make a contribution talking about the motivation that led prehistoric humans to leave this painting, and according to your answer why do you think they created this "style"