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CHAPTER 1 Study Guide Duncan Stone

1-1: Spotted Horses and Human Hands, Paleolithic Period, Paint on Limestone, France

This cave painting may have been used during religious ceremonies as a way for the
worshippers to connect with nature.
The painting is a 2D representation of a spotted horse that existed tens of thousands
of years ago with human hand prints superimposed over the horse along with a
faded red ochre fish.
The Paleolithic cultures were much more dependent and therefore connected with
nature than we are today. This painting may have been one of the ways that they
connected with nature.

1-6: Lion-Human, Paleolithic Period, Mammoth Ivory

This artwork is a sculpture in the round of an anthropomorphic human/lion that is

made up of several different fragments and stands about a foot high. The work is
highly detailed and manages to express the emotion of the sculpture.
This sculpture may have served as a totem used in religious worship, or could have
been nothing more than a very detailed toy.
Around the time that this sculpture was carved many other sculptures of mostly
humans and animals began to appear all over the globe.

1-7: Women from Willendorf, Paleolithic Period, Limestone

This is a sculpture in the round that was created using natural lines of the original
stone to create an exaggerated female form.
This item may have been used to represent a goddess of fertility (as the female parts
are exaggerated greatly), or it could have been used as a method of identifying
friendly tribes.
This figure was made during a time when there was no common language among the
nomadic tribes and it was hard for tribes to communicate with each other.

1-9: Woman from Brassempouv, Paleolithic Period, Ivory

This sculpture is a bust of a womans head made from one piece of ivory. It is an
abstraction of a womens face as some features are exaggerated while others are
This object may have been a depiction of a goddess (of what is not known).
Around this time the idea of a goddess of fertility was beginning to become more
widespread, and this sculpture could be a representation of that same goddess.

1-10: Wall Painting with Horses, Rhinoceroses, and Aurochs, Paleolithic Period, Paint on
Limestone, France

This cave painting contains a number of composite pose images of horses, aurochs
(an extinct type of bull), and rhinos.
These images could have been used to connect with nature during ceremonies where
the shaman of the tribe would put his spirit into the animals on the wall.

These paintings could also have been used to teach new hunters about the animals
in their area that they would have to hunt.

1-11: The hall of bulls, Paleolithic period, Paint on Limestone, France

As with the work before this painting contains many composite pose images of
mostly bulls (although several deer type creatures are also present). The images
were painted in such a way that they appear to remain strait although they curve
against the rock.
These images could have been used to connect with nature during ceremonies where
the shaman of the tribe would put his spirit into the animals on the wall, or they could
have been used to initiate young men into the tribe
These paintings could also have been used to teach new hunters about the animals
in their area that they would have to hunt.

1-12: Bird-Headed Man with Bison, Paleolithic period, Paint on Limestone, France

This is a slightly faded painting of an anthropomorphic man/animal that has the body
of a man with a birds head next to a depiction of a bison.
The bird-man could represent the shaman of the tribe that painted these images,
who has cast his spirit into that of an animal, or has taken on the attributes of an
animal. This image could have been used during ceremonies.
During the Paleolithic period some tribes may have practiced a form of shamanism to
become closer to the animals that were around them, and they may have believed
that this allowed them to take on attributes of the animals.

1-17: Men Taunting a Deer, Neolithic Period, Paint on Mortared Brick

This is an image that cleverly gives the illusion of two dimensions on a three
dimensional surface, and although badly faded seems to show several men taunting
some type of deer.
This work may have been created to highlight the dangerous interactions that
occurred between men and animals in Neolithic societies, and also could be a
representation of an actual event or ritual.
This painting was originally part of the wall of a Neolithic house, and may have
served to Brighten up an otherwise drab house much as we hang photos and
paintings today.

1-20/1-21: Stonehenge, Neolithic period, Bluestone and Sarsen, England

Stonehenge is a megalithic monument formed from two rings of stone with one inside
the other (the bluestone circle is inside the sarsen circle). It also has another circle
surrounding the stones in the form of an earthen ditch that surrounds the entire site.
Stonehenge may have been used as a primitive observatory, or as a temple to a
forgotten god, but we do know that many cremation burials took place there and that
Stonehenge was used as a sort of cemetery.
The early Bronze Age humans who built the henge believed in the world of the living
and the world of the dead. Monuments like Stonehenge were used to represent a
bridge between the two worlds were souls from the world of the living could pass
through to the world of the dead.

1-25: Early Pottery from The Franchthi Cave, Neolithic period, Fired Clay

This bowl is made of fired clay, and has a small base on the bottom so that it does
not fall over and spill. There is no real decoration, and the item is crudely made by
todays standards.
This vessel may have been used to hold narcotics and other potions to be used
during religious ceremonies or rites of passage.
At this time early cultures were beginning to produce primitive pieces of pottery,
although most were not used for eating. Gradually as the techniques became better
understood the pottery began to become more common and was used to eat and
drink from.

1-27: Human Figure, Neolithic Period, Fired lime plaster with cowrie shell, bitumen, and

This sculpture stands about thirty five inches tall and has a very life-like face with
open eyes. However, the sculpture as very small arms and wide hips. Clothes were
most likely painted onto the sculpture directly.
This item and others like it were found buried together in large pits. They could
represent the souls of the dead, except that the culture that produced this work
buried their dead under their houses apart from each other.
Unfortunately, little is known about what these statues represented, and what the
society that produced them may have used them for.

1-29: Gold Scepters, Bronze Age, Gold

The two scepters appear to have been parts of a larger scepter that the pieces
slotted onto and were then made fast. Because no other parts were found it is very
likely that the rest of the scepter was carved or un-carved wood.
The scepters were most likely used as a status symbol of the early Bronze Age rulers,
and may have had special significance during ceremonies. They are the direct
ancestors of the scepters used then across the globe.
During the Bronze Age the first real kingdoms began to appear along the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers. These kingdoms were lead by rulers who wanted to display both
their wealth and the wealth of their country to others.

Vocabulary Terms

Paleolithic - The early phase of the Stone Age, lasting about 2.5 million years, when
primitive stone implements were used. It was during this time that most of the cave
paintings and early sculptures were created.
Neolithic- the later part of the Stone Age, when ground or polished stone weapons
and implements prevailed. Also during the time the first settlements were created
and agriculture became the predominant method of getting food.
The Bronze Age-The Bronze Age is a time period characterized by the use of bronze,
proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. It was also the period in
which metal (mostly gold and silver) were used to create artworks and sculptures.

Homo sapiens sapiens One of the many prehistoric bipedal species that existed
during the Ice Age. However, while the others died off these thrived, and as a matter
of fact all of us humans today are Homo sapiens sapiens.
Sculpture in the round-A form of sculpture where the object can be seen from all
sides and is free standing. The most famous prehistoric example is the Lion Human.
Characteristic techniques of pre-historic cave painting The techniques for cave
painting followed much the same pattern. The painter would take a lump of charcoal
or pigment, chew on it, and then using his hand as a stencil blow the mixture out of
his mouth onto the wall like a human spray can. Brushes may also have been used
although none have yet been discovered.
Pigment- The natural coloring matter of animal or plant tissue. These were then
mixed with a binder (see below) that would suspend the pigment and allow it to be
spread out onto a surface without drying and then flaking.
Binder-A substance such as oil, water, or egg whites that suspends the pigment in
the solution allowing the artist to paint colors onto a surface without having the
pigment flake off when dry.
Composite pose-An artistic perspective that combines elements of the subject not
normally seen from the perspective that the artist has painted the work from (See Fig
Naturalistic-An art form that is derived from observations made in nature/ life that
remain very true and exact to the source material.
Megalithic architecture-A form of architecture that utilizes large stones (Megaliths) to
form henges, dolums, and columns. The most famous example of this would be
Stonehenge (see Figs 1-20/1-21)
Henge- A prehistoric monument consisting of a circle of stone or wooden uprights.
These were used as temples, observatories, and cemeteries. The most famous
example is Stonehenge.
Post and Lintel- A system with a lintel, header, or architrave as the horizontal
member over a building void supported at its ends by two vertical columns, pillars, or
posts. This was the primary method by which henges were constructed.
Mortise-and-tenon joints- the basic mortise and tenon comprises two components:
the mortise hole and the tenon tongue. The tenon, formed on the end of a member
generally referred to as a rail, is inserted into a square or rectangular hole cut into
the corresponding member. The tenon is cut to fit the mortise hole exactly and
usually has shoulders that seat when the joint fully enters the mortise hole. The joint
may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place. This is the method by which
Stonehenge was built.