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Humanities Libertexts

2: The Dawn of Art (40,800 BCE – 5000 BCE)

  • Page ID
    56226
  • How did humans initiate their desire to create art and why? Undoubtably, this query will never be resolved by cultural anthropologists, however, the more archeological sites discovered and excavated the more our discovery of humans and their creativity continues. When an ancient settlement is established, archeologists take great care in removing artifacts, piecing together what the art meant to the culture. If the foundation of a great building is discovered, researchers study the architecture, imagining how the great buildings were designed and built without the aid of today’s technology or heavy equipment. How were the great pyramids constructed? How were the stones moved to build Stonehenge?

    • 2.1: Overview
      The definition of Prehistoric is defined as any time prior to the written word by humans. Does that make the history any less valuable? No, for definition ‘pre’ means before the first evidence of written language. Maybe there is evidence not yet found. How would that change the definition? Prehistoric time can be divided into two periods: Paleolithic beginning about 2.6 million years ago to 12,000 BCE; and the Neolithic beginning 12,000 BCE and continuing until to 4500 BCE.
    • 2.2: Geology of Caves
      Caves are openings in the earth caused by the erosion of the limestone. Limestone is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock and makes up 10% of all the rock on the planet. The limestone usually is composed of marine skeleton fragments from coral reefs and grains of silica, chert, clay, sand, and silt. The composition of limestone is easily eroded by water.
    • 2.3: Cave Art
      Many people wonder how scientists establish the approximate dates of ancient art. In the late 1940s, the University of Chicago developed a method called radio carbon dating which relies on the amount of carbon located in the object in reference to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
    • 2.4: Handheld Art
      Handheld art is known as venus figures, also known as a fertility goddess, received the names from archeologists to describe the pocket-sized female like sculptures.
    • 2.5: Conclusion and Contrast
    • 2.6: Attributions

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