Author: Bruno David
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2017-02-28
An archaeological exploration of the mysterious world of cave art through the ages Deep underground, some of humanity’s earliest artistic endeavors have lain untouched for millennia. The dark interiors of caves, wherever they may be found, seem to have had a powerful draw for ancient peoples, who littered the cave floors with objects they had made. Later, they adorned cave walls with sacred symbols and secret knowledge, from the very first abstract symbols and handprints to complex and vivid arrangements of animals and people. Often undisturbed for many tens of thousands of years, these were among the first visual symbols that humans shared with each other, though they were made so long ago that we have entirely forgotten their meaning. However, as archaeologist Bruno David reveals, caves decorated more recently may help us to unlock their secrets. David tells the story of this mysterious world of decorated caves, from the oldest known painting tools to the magnificent murals of the European Ice Age. Showcasing the most astounding discoveries made in more than 150 years of archaeological exploration, Cave Art explores the creative achievements of our remotest ancestors and what they tell us about the human past.
Author: Jean Clottes
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Release Date: 2010-03-31
The discovery of pre-historic decorated caves in western Europe transformed the way we think about the development of art. The earliest known evidence of human artistic endeavor, the awe-inspiring paintings, dramatic engravings and small, delicate sculptures of animals and humans found in these caves still hold a unique power and fascination, more than a century after they were first discovered. In this book, internationally renowned expert on prehistoric art Jean Clottes explores the origins of art and creativity. He takes the reader on a guided tour of 85 caves and rock shelters, many of which are not open to the public, revealing the extraordinary beauty of the works of art within them. Cave Art features more than 300 works from the Paleolithic period, made between 35,000 and 11,000 years ago, presented in geographical and chronological order.This comprehensive, accessible introduction to prehistoric art includes such spectacular works as the famous horses of Lascaux, the buffalo in the Altamira cave in Spain and the ivory carving of a woman's face found at Brassempouy in the south of France, as well as examples from less well-known sites. A wonderful range of animals is presented, from cave bears to reindeer, as well as mysterious abstract signs and schematic representations of human beings. Examples of portable art and sculpture are also included. While most of the caves described in the book are European, Cave Art also includes examples of open-air rock art made after the last ice age at sites around the world. With an unparalleled selection of images, Cave Art offers a unique guided tour of the earliest expressions of human creativity. Each work in Cave Art is illustrated by a color photograph, and accompanied by a clear, vivid explanatory text. A concise introduction tells the story of the discovery of the caves, and gives a clear outline of current knowledge, research and debate on the subject of prehistoric art. The book also includes a chronology, maps of the main caves and sites, a glossary and a list of sites that can be visited.
Author: Paul Bahn
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2017-07-11
Genre: Social Science
Two of the greatest living authorities on Ice Age art delve hundreds of thousands of years into the human past to discover the earliest works of art ever made, drawing on decades of new research Where is the world’s very first art located? When, and why, did people begin experimenting with different materials, forms, and colors? Prehistorians have long been asking these questions, but only recently have they been able to piece together the first chapter in the story of art. Overturning the traditional Eurocentric vision of our artistic origins, Paul Bahn and Michel Lorblanchet seek out the earliest art across the whole world. There are clues that even three million years ago distant human ancestors were drawn to natural curiosities that appeared representational, such as the face-like “Makapansgat cobble" from South Africa, not carved but naturally weathered to resemble a human face. In the last hundred thousand years people all over the world began to create art: the oldest known paint palettes in South Africa’s Blombos Cave, the famous Venus figures across Europe all the way to Siberia, and magnificent murals on cave walls in every continent except Antarctica. This book is the first to assess the discovery, history, and significance of these varied forms of art: the artistic impulse developed in the human mind wherever it traveled.
Author: David S. Whitley
Publisher: Prometheus Books
The magnificent prehistoric art discovered in caves throughout France and Spain raises many questions about early human culture. What do these superbly rendered paintings of horses, bison, and enigmatic human figures and symbols mean? How can we explain the sudden flourishing of artistic creativity at such a high level? And in what ways does this artwork reflect the underlying belief system, worldview, and life of the people who created it? In this fascinating discussion of ancient art and religion, Dr David S Whitley -- one of the world's leading experts on cave paintings--guides the reader in an exploration of these intriguing questions, while sharing his firsthand experiences in visiting these exquisite, breath-taking sites. To grasp what drove these ancient artists to create these masterpieces, and to understand the origin of myth and religion, as Whitley explains, is to appreciate what makes us human. Moreover, he broadens our understanding of the genesis of creativity and myth by proposing a radically new and original theory that weds two seemingly warring camps from separate disciplines. On the one hand, archaeologists specialising in prehistoric cave paintings have argued that the visionary rituals of shamans led to the creation of this expressive art. They consider shamanism to be the earliest known form of religion. By contrast, evolutionary psychologists view the emergence of religious beliefs as a normal expression of the human mind. In their eyes, the wild and ecstatic trances of shamans were a form of aberrant behaviour. Far from being typical representatives of ancient religion, shamans were exceptions to the normal rule of early religion. Whitley resolves the controversy by interweaving the archaeological evidence with the latest findings of cutting-edge neuroscience. He thereby rewrites our understanding of shamanism and its connection with artistic creativity, myth, and religion. Combining a colourful narrative describing Whitley's personal explorations at key archaeological sites with robust scientific research, Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit makes for engrossing reading. It provides a profound and poignant perspective on what it means to be human.
Author: Paul G. Bahn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1998
Surveys prehistoric art throughout the world, including body art, art on rocks and walls, and objects; changes in scholarship; and what the art can reveal about early sexual, social, economic, and religious life
Author: Jean-Marie Chauvet
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Incorporated
Release Date: 1996-03-30
An intriguing study of the early evolution of human artistic endeavors focuses on recent discoveries in the Chauvet cave, Stone Age paintings and engravings of animals that are more than thirty thousand years old. BOMC Div. Natural Science Main.
Author: David Lewis-Williams
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2004-04-17
The breathtakingly beautiful art created deep inside the caves of western Europe has the power to dazzle even the most jaded observers. Emerging from the narrow underground passages into the chambers of caves such as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Altamira, visitors are confronted with symbols, patterns, and depictions of bison, woolly mammoths, ibexes, and other animals. Since its discovery, cave art has provoked great curiosity about why it appeared when and where it did, how it was made, and what it meant to the communities that created it. David Lewis-Williams proposes that the explanation for this lies in the evolution of the human mind. Cro-Magnons, unlike the Neanderthals, possessed a more advanced neurological makeup that enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery. It became important for people to "fix," or paint, these images on cave walls, which they perceived as the membrane between their world and the spirit world from which the visions came. Over time, new social distinctions developed as individuals exploited their hallucinations for personal advancement, and the first truly modern society emerged. Illuminating glimpses into the ancient mind are skillfully interwoven here with the still-evolving story of modern-day cave discoveries and research. The Mind in the Cave is a superb piece of detective work, casting light on the darkest mysteries of our earliest ancestors while strengthening our wonder at their aesthetic achievements.
Author: Jean Clottes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-04-25
Was it a trick of the light that drew our Stone Age ancestors into caves to paint in charcoal and red hematite, to watch the heads of lions, likenesses of bison, horses, and aurochs in the reliefs of the walls, as they flickered by firelight? Or was it something deeper—a creative impulse, a spiritual dawn, a shamanistic conception of the world efflorescing in the dark, dank spaces beneath the surface of the earth where the spirits were literally at hand? In this book, Jean Clottes, one of the most renowned figures in the study of cave paintings, pursues an answer to this “why” of Paleolithic art. While other books focus on particular sites and surveys, Clottes’s work is a contemplative journey across the world, a personal reflection on how we have viewed these paintings in the past, what we learn from looking at them across geographies, and what these paintings may have meant—what function they may have served—for their artists. Steeped in Clottes’s shamanistic theories of cave painting, What Is Paleolithic Art? travels from well-known Ice Age sites like Chauvet, Altamira, and Lascaux to visits with contemporary aboriginal artists, evoking a continuum between the cave paintings of our prehistoric past and the living rock art of today. Clottes’s work lifts us from the darkness of our Paleolithic origins to reveal, by firelight, how we think, why we create, why we believe, and who we are.
Author: Paul G. Bahn
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Release Date: 2012-02-21
The decorated Ice Age caves are some of mankind's greatest artistic achievements, and there is no substitute for seeing the caves themselves. There you can see the art – paintings, engravings, bas-reliefs or drawings – in its original, natural setting, and stand where the artists did 30,000–10,000 years ago. For speleologists and holidaymakers alike – indeed anyone who wants to add a visit to a cave to their itinerary – here is an essential handbook. The first guide to all the decorated Ice Age caves in Europe that are open to the public, Cave Art covers more than 50 caves in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as well as relevant museums and centres. This second edition has been fully revised and includes one additional cave and three new facsimiles.
Author: John Boardman
Release Date: 2006
Divides the ancient world into three broad climatic categories to offer insight into the way artists addressed key environmental challenges, in a lavishly illustrated and captioned reference that includes coverage of each global region and religion.
Author: Christine Desdemaines-Hugon
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2010-04-20
Genre: Social Science
The cave art of France’s Dordogne region is world-famous for the mythology and beauty of its remarkable drawings and paintings. These ancient images of lively bison, horses, and mammoths, as well as symbols of all kinds, are fascinating touchstones in the development of human culture, demonstrating how far humankind has come and reminding us of the ties that bind us across the ages. Over more than twenty-five years of teaching and research, Christine Desdemaines-Hugon has become an unrivaled expert in the cave art and artists of the Dordogne region. In her new book she combines her expertise in both art and archaeology to convey an intimate understanding of the “cave experience.” Her keen insights communicate not only the incomparable artistic value of these works but also the near-spiritual impact of viewing them for oneself. Focusing on five fascinating sites, including the famed Font de Gaume and others that still remain open to the public, Stepping-Stones reveals striking similarities between art forms of the Paleolithic and works of modern artists and gives us a unique pathway toward understanding the culture of the Dordogne Paleolithic peoples and how it still touches our lives today.
Author: Bill Manley
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Release Date: 2018-01-23
An insightful volume delving into the enduringly compelling art of ancient Egypt, from a new historical perspective The art and architecture of Egypt during the age of the pharaohs continue to capture the imagination of the modern world. Among the great creative achievements of ancient Egypt are a set of constant forms: archetypes in art and architecture in which the origins of concepts such as authority, divinity, beauty, and meaning are readily discernible. Whether adapted to fine, delicate jewelry or colossal statues, these forms maintain a human face—with human ideas and emotions. These artistic templates, and the ideas they articulated, were refined and reinvented through dozens of centuries, until scenes first created for the earliest kings, around 3000 BCE, were eventually used to represent Roman emperors and the last officials of pre-Christian Egypt. Bill Manley’s account of the art of ancient Egypt draws on the finest works through more than 3,000 years and places celebrated masterpieces, from the Narmer palette to Tutankhamun’s gold mask, in their original contexts in the tombs, temples, and palaces of the pharaohs and their citizens.