Art H Prehistoric Art

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47 terms · prehistoric art

Prehistory

includes all of human existence before writting

Periods in the Stoneage

-Paleolithic
-Neolithic
-time frames vary based on location

Why the stone age is called the stoneage

a wealth of stone artifacts found in this time frame

Time Periods of Paleolithic

-100 000 - 10 000 bce
-Lower
-middle
-upper (40 000 - 80 000 bce)

basics of art in the upper paleolithic

-art is image making
-representational images -> 38000 bce all over world
-tools important to remember --> sometimes more than just art

Architecture

-enclosure of spaces with some aesthetic intent

Paleolithic Architecture

- mobile/ temporary --> hunter gatherer society
--- wide spread appearance
---population sparce, shorter lifespand
---no huge heavy objects
EX: mammoth hut (ukraine)
-- big for the time (could fit multiple people)

Paleolithic Tools

-How to's were passed through generations
-utilized found objects --> altered
-vast majority of artifacts made of stone/ mammoth

Paleolithic ornamentation of Bodies

-shells and tusk beads
- jewlery = oldest form of art (tatoos and scaring may be included)

Prehistoric Burial

-consistant
-lots of effort
-suggestive of divine / belief in life force
-very decorative objects, weapons, containers, burried
-Sometimes red ocher --> ritualistic or symbolic
-many in fetal position facing east/ sun rise

Animal Sculptures

-very small, only a few inches tall
-believed to be for some kind of topomistic practice
--- eg: human enfused with power of animal

Female figures

-most female (males very rare)
-most figures from time period animals, therefore even females were rare
-visual similarity
--- stylized abstraction (egzagerated female characteristics)
- found all over europe
-most stone
-extremities not important (no feet, hands, face)
-largest production = climate conditions poor
-many theories to explain (see card)
-idea that the may have been made by women

Theories on female figures

-matriarchal society
--- no figures of men
--- may be a result of projected current ideas
-religious function
--- fertility cult
---most look like they are/ were pregnant
---sex characteristics exaggerated
--- problem: no evidence they connected sex and babies AND focus was on survival, not repro
-Charm/ communication => showing group was friendly/ open to trade, etc
--- worn down in certain areas
-ideal of female/ attractiveness
--- debatable and could be based on current cultural ideas
--- most desireable body type --> practicle people/ times = body type that would be able to survive in rough times optimal

Cave paintings

-30 000 bce
-assumption that they were for aesthetic purposes only
-300+ found, most accidentaly, most very simple
-animal images are predominant --> heard animals
- handprints, geometric shapes, blowdots
-images often incomplete
-overlapping = general feature --> process more important
-many foot and hand prints of varying sizes

cave painting theories

-decrotive function
--- most located in areas not easily accessible
--- images often far from entrances
--- materials found on disturbed floor not same as debris where they came from, JUST what they did in the short time they were there
- human magic venues
--- sympathetic magic
--- shamans may have visions in caves
- teach novice hunters
--- many animals not food animals\-hoofs, feces, hide coloring recorded

sympathetic magic

- magical attempt at influencing outcomes

composite pose

- combining different viewpoints into 1 representation of a subject
-eg: horns face front, body profiled

rotunda

open space decorated with variety of animals

cave painting handprints

- positives and negatives
- full or digits missing
- theories:
--- signifier left behind
--- mutiliation/ injury/ disease (least logical)
--- prehistoric communication (most logical)

cave sculptures

- relief sculptures
- use modeling
-eg: bison (France)--> 2 bison modeled with soft clay against a damp floor

Neolithic

-the new stone age
-permanent architecture
-assert control over food supply
-domestication of animals
-better quality of life, and longer life expectancy
-massive climate change ~ 10 000 bce --> MASSIVE changes

Neolithic architecture

-start marked by simple, durable social environments built
-techniques taken from elsewhere (developed in numerous places at different times) eg: basket weaving
-domestic architecture = not a ton of effort
-ritual architecture = much more complex
-new attachment to land = new kind of social life
- 4000 bce, communities built at defensible sites (rivers, plateaus, etc)

post and lintel

-2 posts with a "bridge" across
-most basic architectural principle

corbeling

-building stones on top f each other in an arch like shape

ridgepole

long horizontal beam against which slanting roof poles were braced

wattle and daub

branches woven in basket like pattern, then covered with mud and clay

thatch

- plant material ties over framework of poles

Burial Customs

-neolithic first for sites --> many in UK
-variety of different forms
-megalithic tombs

Megalithic structures

-more populous society --> more man power to ove
-highly organized
-focused around the inidividual but speak largely for the culture
-various forms (menhir, cromlech, dolmen, carin, passage grave, vault)

menhir

-single stone blocks
-tall stone
-free standing megalithic structure

Cromlech

-circular arrangement of menhirs

Dolmen

-a prehistoric structure made up of 2+ large upright stones supporting a large horizontal stone slab

carin

artificial hill

passage grave

- entered by 1+ narrow, stone lined passage way(s) into a large room at the center

vault

- arched structure that spans an interior

Stonehenge

- Salisbury plain, England
- 3000 bce, over 2500 years
- tilathon ( TT TT TT )
--- 5 sets in horseshow configuration
-building = communal effort
-bluestones markcemetary of cremation burials
--- used carved from boulders left behind from last ice age
- 4 periods
-nearby sitesfrom when stonehenge was in use, follow circular layout

Stonehenge 1

-3200 bce first ditch dug
-long rope compass used
-entrance coordinated with moon rise
-lunar temple

Stonehenge 2

-2200 bce
-re-aligned the circle/ entrance
-lunar to solar
-menhir marks where sun rises
-from strictly funeral to more ritual
-bigger ritualistic destination --> communal rituals

Stonehenge 3

-introduce current features
-remove bluestones and replace with sacrens ( TTTTTT)
--- large sandstone blocks --> 30 all together
--- transported from decent ways away --> origins in west?
--- use mortise and tenon joints
--- wide at bottom, narrow at top
-horseshoe shape in middle facing west (open to east)

Stonehenge 4

-bluestones arranged in front of sarens (???)

mortise and tenon joints

made by a conical projection at top pf each upright stone that fite into a hole in the top stone (lintel)

Fired clay ceramics

- requires high temp
-requires infrastructure they didnt have --> change in lifestyle to sedimentary groups
-sculpture and ceramics a critical component of neolithic ways
-marks shift from complete reliance on skin, textile, wood to use of pots by firing clay
-emerged at different times in diff places
--- earliest = jomon culture in japan ~12 000 bce
-no set of circumstances that led to it

New metallurgy

-technology close to ceramics
- first used for ornametnation ~ end of neolithic
--- cold hammered malachite
-gold one of the first

Bronze

-earliest bronze ~ 2300 bce
--- figuring out how to introduce new material into tools
-alloy
--- less reactive -> less prone to corrosion
---very hard
-power bases within communities shifted as resources not widely available
--- trade/ intergroup contact increased
--- bronze object = prized good

alloy

mixture of metals melted together

sun chariot

- horse (domestication), wheel
-bronze and gold
-big deal because of all aspects involved
-shows societal/ cultural/ tech "evolution"

rock carvings

-1500-500bce
-scratched outline of design and pecked the ground/ surface away
-communication b/w distinct worlds/ communities
-northern bohuslan, sweden --> 40 000 images, +1500 sites, mainly boats (not excavated ones)

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