People often wonder what the people before them did with no technology and resources as they have today. The Cave paintings and arts from the prehistoric era does just that by showing the way of life before the civilization as we know it.
Art is a time machine in which we can travel thousands of year back in time. Take ancient or prehistoric cave paintings around the world for example, these paintings or rock-arts reflect the lifestyle of people before any civilization. It is astonishing that these paintings have been in the well preserved state despite facing harsh conditions for millenniums.
These are the 10 most prominent rock arts in the history of mankind
Magura cave in the Vidin province of Bulgaria is one of the largest caves in the country. The walls of the cave decorated with outstanding paintings date back to Neolithic and early Bronze age period. The paintings depict deities, animals and hunting techniques of ancestors of the site.
There is also a solar calendar on the wall of Magura cave that represent 366 days and five different festivals. It is the oldest known solar calendar discovered in the European continent. The Magura cave also contain a number of geological formations including stalactites, stalagmites and cave pearls.
Cueva de las Manos resides in Patagonia in the southern part of Argentina and it is thought that the paintings were created between 13,000 and 9,000 years ago.
The cave’s name literally means ‘Cave of hands’ and was presented that name because of the paintings that are within. The paintings depict the stencils of human hands, many of which are left hands, which suggests that the painters held spraying pipes in their right hands.
Located in central India, Bhimbetka contains over 600 rock shelters decorated with prehistoric cave paintings. Executed mainly in red and white with the occasional use of green and yellow the paintings usually depict the lives and times of the people who lived in the caves. Animals such as bisons, tigers, lions, and crocodiles have also been abundantly depicted in some caves. The oldest paintings are considered to be 12,000 years old.
The Serra da Capivara National Park in northeast Brazil is home to numerous rock shelters that are decorated with cave paintings. The paintings include scenes of rituals and hunting, trees and animals capivaras. Some scientists believe that the oldest cave paintings in the park are created 25,000 years ago. This is disputed by several geneticists however as this would conflict the currently accepted date of human settlement in the Americas.
Laas Gaal is a popular archaeological site located in Northwestern Somalia that contains a series of granite caves. The Neolithic paintings within the caves dating back to 8000 – 10000 years. Laas Gaal cave paintings were discovered by a French archaeological team in 2002, during an expedition in searching for caves and rock shelters in the site.The Laal Gaal cave paintings are considered as some of the best preserved cave paintings in Africa. They survived natural weathering, wars and activities of humans and animals intact.
Tadrart Acacus mountain range, located in the Sahara Desert, is renowned for its rock art that dates as far back 12,000 BC.The paintings are particularly interesting because they demonstrate that the area used to have a much wetter climate, due to the paintings of lakes and forests.
This beautiful artwork was discovered only around 1994. The images consist of mammoths, lions, bears, and even rhinos. The artwork is said to be around 32,000 years old, making it the earliest in this list.
The Kakadu Rock Paintings reside in the north of Australia are some of the paintings are estimated to date back as far as 20,000 years. The Kakadu National Park contains a vast amount of Aboriginal rock paintings; over 5000 art sites have been discovered there. The Aboriginals not only painted the exterior of their subjects, but also the skeletons of some animals.
Discovered in the late 19th century, the Altamira Cave in northern Spain was the first cave in which prehistoric paintings were discovered. The paintings were of such an astounding quality that the scientific society doubted their authenticity and even accused it’s discoverer Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola of forgery. Many people simply did not believe prehistoric man had the intellectual capacity to produce any kind of artistic expression. It was not until 1902 when the paintings were acknowledged as genuine.
Located in south France the paintings in the Lascaux caves are estimated to be 17,000 years old. The caves are nicknamed the “the Prehistoric Sistine Chapel” and contain some of the most famous cave paintings in the world. The most famous of them all is The Great Hall of the Bulls, depicting bulls, horses and deer.
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