Prehistoric art appeared long before the written word. It began in caves as far back as thirty thousand years ago. To use modern language, the first artistic styles were naturalism and geometric abstractionism.
Prehistoric art includes paintings on the wall of caves, sculptures carved in bone and stone, jewelry and more.
No one really knows the goals and thoughts behind prehistoric art pieces. Some of the scholars argue that carvings on the walls of the caves were hunting aids. However, the creatures in these carvings were not typical animals even back then.
The first discovery of paintings in an ancient cave was made in the Spanish town of Altamira in 1879 when an amateur paleontologist was looking for ancient tools. At first, people could not believe that the paintings were authentic because their quality was extremely high. The ceiling of the cave has paintings of various animals, including horses, deer, and bison.
Some of the animals are over six feet long and it looks like the artists paid a lot of attention to how the animals looked in real life. What makes the paintings so special is not only their size but also the energy of the animals and the three-dimensional way in which the paintings were created.
Paintings in Lascaux caves in France were discovered in 1940 when four local boys lost their dog because it fell into the caves. The caves consist of more than 110 rooms and the boys worked as tour guides when they grew up. There are over 2,000 animals figures painted on the walls of the caves. The animals are mostly bisons, horses, and bulls.
One of the recent discoveries was made in France in 1994. Amateur researchers found what is believed to be the world’s oldest cave with paintings that date as far as 30,000 years ago. There is a series of galleries and rooms with over 300 pictures.