Prehistoric Masterpieces

Prehistoric Masterpieces

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Fox artic teeth necklace. 26.000 years ago. Dolni Vestonice, Czech Republic

Upper Paleolithic necklace of pierced Arctic Fox teeth excavated near the village of Dolni Vestonice, Moravia, Czech Republic, BC. Photo by Don Hitchcock.

The limestone rock shelter of Cap Blanc, near Laussel, northeast of Les Eyzies in France's Dordogne region, is well known to the world of prehistory as the site of one of the finest sculptured friezes to survive the last Ice Age, the first to be unearthed, and currently the best to remain open to the public

The limestone rock shelter of Cap Blanc, near Laussel, northeast of Les Eyzies in France's Dordogne region, is well known to the world of prehistory as the site of one of the finest sculptured friezes to survive the last Ice Age, the first to be unearthed, and currently the best to remain open to the public

Among the many carved ornaments and figurines found at Mal’ta there are 20 human heads. Like the example shown here, most of these are decorated with small, curving incisions which, in some cases, might indicate the hair but in others resemble the shading found on complete figurines suggesting fur hoods or hats.

Among the many carved ornaments and figurines found at Mal’ta there are 20 human heads. Like the example shown here, most of these are decorated with small, curving incisions which, in some cases, might indicate the hair but in others resemble the shading found on complete figurines suggesting fur hoods or hats.

The wall to the right of the central recess has a large number of animals drawn on to it. The overall scene depicts a hunt. On the right of the composition there is a rhinoceros and a mammoth. On the left, there are four bison heads, and two more rhinos. Then there are seven bison, pursued by a pride of sixteen lions, mainly depicted by their heads alone.

The wall to the right of the central recess has a large number of animals drawn on to it. The overall scene depicts a hunt. On the right of the composition there is a rhinoceros and a mammoth. On the left, there are four bison heads, and two more rhinos. Then there are seven bison, pursued by a pride of sixteen lions, mainly depicted by their heads alone.

Woolly rhinoceros grazed the grassy steppe land of central Europe alongside mammoths. They used their long front horns to brush snow off the grass during winter. Woolly rhinos had two horns but only the distinctive front horn is modelled on this baked clay head.

Woolly rhinoceros grazed the grassy steppe land of central Europe alongside mammoths. They used their long front horns to brush snow off the grass during winter. Woolly rhinos had two horns but only the distinctive front horn is modelled on this baked clay head.

The figure in front is a female with smaller body and antlers. Her body is carefully shaded with incised lines made by using a stone engraving tool called a burin. Delicate lines pick out the variation in colour and texture on her coat. The 10, deep incisions on both sides of her body may also indicate colour bars but their depth and the trails on tiny lines underneath each one appear unnatural.

The figure in front is a female with smaller body and antlers. Her body is carefully shaded with incised lines made by using a stone engraving tool called a burin. Delicate lines pick out the variation in colour and texture on her coat. The 10, deep incisions on both sides of her body may also indicate colour bars but their depth and the trails on tiny lines underneath each one appear unnatural.

Anthropomorphic Vessel    Fired Clay    Banat, Parţa, 5300-5000 BCE    National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest: 54748    Photo: Marius Amarie

Anthropomorphic Vessel Fired Clay Banat, Parţa, BCE National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest: 54748 Photo: Marius Amarie (Alejandra Durán)

#Altimira  --  Endangered UNESCO World Heritage Site  --  Northern Spain's Altamira Cave Paintings  --  Dating back 14,000 years  --  Discovered in 1879 & closed to the public in2002 following the discovery of bacteria which thrived under the artificial light.  Since the cave's closing, the bacterial growth has abated.

Paleolithic cave art in Altamira, Spain. The “Sistine chapel of Paleolithic art”. These ancient caves bear what is thought to be the earliest-known drawings and pictures in recorded history, said to date back to (as far as) years ago.

#Chauvet  --  Painting of a Rhinocerus  --  30,000 BCE  --  Chauvet Cave  --  Ardeche Valley  --  France

-- Painting of a Rhinocerus -- BCE -- Chauvet Cave -- Ardeche Valley -- France. I have this tatooed on my shoulder-- it appears only very briefly in Herzog's film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, because it is at a tough angle.