Chapter1: The Stone Age
The beginnings of particular entities often spark curiosity in minds of experts and general people alike, for instance- the beginning of time, the industrial revolution or the evolution of men have piqued the interest of people throughout history. Correspondingly, men’s pursuit of knowledge on the beginning of art has led to age-old discoveries like paintings or carving of early men. None can pinpoint in particular where and how the art came into being, however, various discoveries and findings lead us to believe that Art began as a method of communication by means of symbolic expressions amongst the primitive men tribesmen of a particular location. They scribbled pictures of animals they encountered, human figurines to depict a story like a ritual or a hunt, and sometimes symbol that represented their daily lives which were passed down to the following generation. With the development of the thinking capability of the early men, these carvings and depictions got more descriptive and refined. Art emerges from a time when modern men moved out of Africa and into Asia, Europe, and Australia. A large number of works from the time still survive, the majority of which have been discovered in Europe.
The oldest form of art retrieved by men dates back to the prehistoric stone age (approx. 300,000-700,000) years ago. The first objective of the alleged period, to be found was petroglyphs. And later, rock carvings, pictographs, sculptures, cave paintings, beads, and pottery, etc were discovered all over the world. These were created by descendants of the homo Erectus, who later evolved into Homo Sapiens, also known as the modern man. Origin of Art finds roots in the first age of man itself-The stone Age. The first stone age art was known as cupules, which is the oldest form of rock art known. The early men used to pound holes on solid surfaces collectively and sometimes individually depicting their knowledge of shape and structures. Subsequently, they began creating cave paintings and stone sculptures which tells us about their collective work with their fellow men, indicating towards an advanced communication system among them and also gives us an idea how Societies operated back then.
Prehistoric art began to come into light in 1887 when a bison painted in the caves called Altamira, in the village of Santillana del Mar in Northern Spain was discovered. One consisted of both cupules and engravings. A similar form of cave art was found in Sulawesi at Daraki Chattan. These artworks date back to 38000 BCE. The oldest artwork from North Africa dated back 2000,000- 5000,000. It is a quartzite statuette called Venus of Tan-Tan. It was discovered in Morocco.
In September 2018, the earliest known carving by Homo Sapiens was discovered in Blombos Cave on the Cape coast of South Africa. It was estimated to be 73,000 years old. The oldest cave art from Australia is a Carbon-dated work called Nawarla Gabrnmang Charcoal drawing from Arhem Land Northern Territory. The earliest art form to be found in Europe were couples. A series of 18 specimens of cupules were discovered underneath a slab of limestone which covered a Neanderthal grave of a child at la ferrassie, in Dordogne valley, France.
A display of wonderful hand stecils rock art at the Cueva de las Manos (also known as Cave of the Hand) near de las Pinturas in Argentina is considered to be the oldest prehistoric art to be discovered in America. Which date back roughly 9,500 years. However, there are a number of ancient Stone age sites throughout North, Central and South America (10,500 BCE 9500 BCE) such as Monte Verde in Chile (inhabited from 12,500 BCE), Blackwater Draw in eastern New Mexico (active 9,500 300 BCE), Fell’s cave patagoniaa(inhabited 9,000 8,000 BCE), among other, which may yet very ancient art.
Art in the Stone Age which started with cupules diversified and evolved rapidly. Cupules were followed by cave art, pictography, and rock sculptures respectively. The accuracy of certain ancient cave arts tells us about the acute ability to the early men to recreate from memory and in spite of being the earliest form of art they display a great deal of sophistication. The weapons carved out of stones were often adorned with engraving and Decorating patterns.
This discovery of metal and it’s usage opened up the path to the next age of the modern men the Bronze Age. This age is characterized by the discovery of bronze and it’s usage in construction weapons .Bronze replace rocks, the lifestyles of the men changed along with all the other aspects perspective and subject of Art also changed as men stepped into a new age.