Upper Paleolithic Art • Mobile • Small, can be moved from place to place or traded • Parietal • Paintings on cave walls • Large carvings
Mobile Art • The European bison is one of the animals most commonly depicted in paleolithic art. • These treatments in several media (sandstone, reindeer horn, clay, and limestone) illustrate the sophistication of paleolithic art. • Note the similar stylistic treatment of the mane and beard of the bull, which show that artististic conventions were passed from generation to generation.
Imagery • This baton or staff, found at Mas-d'Azil, France, is particularly intriguing and almost demands interpretation. • This "baton" is of reindeer horn carved into the shapes of three horse heads--two live horses, either a mare and stallion or a colt and adult horse--and a flayed skull of a dead horse. • Is this a depiction of the highly abstract idea of the cycle of life from juvenile stage to death? The carving demands to be "read" and interpreted.
Venus Figurines • Female statuettes, sometimes called "Venus" figurines, have been found at a number of European sites. • The female head at is rendered in a highly abstract style compared to animals • The plumpness and exaggerated sexual features of many of these figures, along with their faceless anonymity, suggest that they symbolize fertility.
Venus Figurines Venus of Willendorf
The 18“ Venus figure (France, 22,000 to 30,000 years ago) holds what may be an incised bison horn. • Perhaps similar to the cornucopia, the "horn of plenty," of later European cultures.
Upper Paleolithic Parietal Art • Lascaux, France • Chauvet Cave, France • Altamira, Spain • All have elaborate paintings and engravings • Usually done along certain “themes” • ie. Altamira mostly bison • Not used for habitation-strictly ceremonial
Methods • Pigments such as charcoal, red ochre, yellow ochre commonly used. • Applied with animal hair brushes, fingers and/or blown through tube.
Distribution of Upper Paleolithic art Thin dark blue line: coastline Thick light blue (cyan) line: glaciation limits Red tones: mural art Green tones: portable art
Great Hall of Bulls Color black dominates the works. A few of the creatures are painted red.
Main Gallery Panel of Back to Back Bison Surrounding surface and style of work creates 3D effect
Main Gallery Panel of the Swimming Stags
Painted Gallery Stag at entrance Bison towards back
Painted Gallery “Chinese horse”
Short Clip of Lascaux http://dordogne-dordogne.com/cave-of-lascaux/
Altamira, Spain (ca. 14-18,000 B.P.) • It is situated in Cantabria province not far from Santander city, on the edge of Santiliana del Mar village. • The cave was found by a local hunter, Modesto Peres in 1868. • Mostly bison
Altamira • http://vm.kemsu.ru/en/palaeolith/alt-img2.html
Chauvet Cave, France (ca. 32,000 B.P.) • It is located in the steep side of a cliff in the gorges of the Ardeche, a tributary of the Rhone river. • The cave was discovered on the 18th of December 1994 by three speleologists - Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire. • There is a succession of four big "vestibules" with about or more than 300 paintings. They are in a remarkable state of preservation. At present the paintings are the oldest known. http://vm.kemsu.ru/en/palaeolith/shove.html
Hyaena and Panther http://www.originsnet.org/upgallery1animals/index.htm
Bear skull on rock http://www.originsnet.org/upgallery1animals/index.htm
Owl in mud http://www.originsnet.org/upgallery1animals/index.htm
Bison with human legs http://www.originsnet.org/upgallery1animals/index.htm
During their first explorations, the discoverers recognized two footprints that they identified as human: that of the left foot of a child, and a dynamic trace of the same. • These prints mark the beginning of a genuine trail leading from the back of the Gallery of Crosshatches to the entrance of the Chamber of the Skull. • Around this trail, we can observe more ancient traces of trampling by bears and the trail of a wolf.
Culture • The multiple burial from central Europe on right is 26,000 years old. The individual in the center of the burial had spinal scoliosis, an asymmetrical skull, and an under-developed right leg. • The male on the left has a stake driven into his hip; a larger male on the far right lies face down.
The painting reconstructs the burial of a mammoth hunter found at Predmosti in central Europe. • Red ochre is being scattered over the grave, which will be covered with a mammoth's shoulder blade and tusks.
Dolni Vistonice • Gravettian site dated to about 25,000 years ago • The site is located on a ridge overlooking the Dyej River, Czech Republic • 200 by 500 feet • bones of over 100 mammoths were found in an area that measured 40 by 140 feet • rows of mammoth tusks formed a fence around the site • several houses • common central fire • material culture • 2,300 fired clay figurines • Gravettian tool assemblage • exotic artifacts • shell from Mediterranean http://www.unc.edu/courses/pre2000fall/anth100/uppaleo.htm
Mammoth bone house http://donsmaps.com/mammothcamp.html
Painted Mammoth Skull at house entrance http://donsmaps.com/mammothcamp.html