Visit these sites to take a visual journey through the fascinating world of art and symbol use by early humans. Learn about the caves of Lascaux and Chauvet, as well as the great variety of early Venus figurines. Find out more about rock art. Finally, answer some reflective questions about the meaning of art.
The First Artists (National Geographic)
Introduction to Upper Paleolithic Art (Smithsonian Human Origins)
http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior/art-music (Links to an external site.)
Lascaux and Chauvet caves: Famous French cave art sites
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/chauvet/en/ (Links to an external site.)
Sculpture including the “Venus” figurines
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/sculpture/gallery.php (Links to an external site.)
African Rock Art
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/coulson/index.php (Links to an external site.)
Although much of the rock art on this site is from more recent periods, it gives a sense of the imagination and skill of early artists. Click on the link to the Photo Gallery for some great images.
1. Why did earlier humans begin making art? What other human anatomical and cultural changes occurred around the same time? Reference the material from Chapter 12 and the websites you investigated to answer the question.
2. Why don’t we see this same type of symbolic expression with earlier hominins such as Homo erectus?
3. Which of the examples of Upper Paleolithic art was most interesting and evocative to you personally? Why?
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