Rock art or cave paintings began around 40,000 years ago, and the trend just kinda caught on. The earliest forms of “graffiti” are both beautiful and interesting, and are as far away from vandalism as possible.
Back in the day, a long long time ago, rock art signified a culture’s religious beliefs, the animals they hunted, the “trance” dance, the environment that surrounded them and much more. Almost like the need for artists to express what they saw, and happily be preserved for archaeologists to find today. Rock art also provides researchers with clues into culture’s way of life, along with rituals and ceremonies.
Here are a few awesome rock art recordings from around the globe:
The Altamira Bison is found in Spain and dates back to 40,000 years ago! It is one of the oldest forms of cave art ever found, and is now a World Heritage site.
You know when trace your hand with a pencil, well guess what? Neanderthals did it too. This cave is also found Spain in the El Castillo cave, and dates back to approximately 40,800 years ago. Think about the people who did this, and what must have been going through their mind while it was happening. Blows my mind!
This Mammoth painting is found in the Chauvet cave in France. This figures date back to between 30,000 & 33,000 years ago.
This picture of what looks like a giant was found in Algeria and dates back to approximately 8000 BC. There’s also a faint painting of what looks like an antelope running in it as well, which is pretty interesting.
And then we have the San, who are probably best known for their rock art. Elephants were commonly drawn in San art, but probably the Eland was the most specified animal in their culture. The San also have many pictures of humans with elongated arms and legs, this symbolises the “trance” dances that were performed, and the feeling of a persons limbs being stretched when in that altered state.
There are so many examples of rock art from around the world, that would make this post tediously long. But the essence of art from the Palaeolithic era has been a common element in prehistoric and ancient culture, providing us with a glimpse into their lives, the animals they encountered (many extinct), and the environment that surrounded them.
*I do not own these pcitures