Cave painting

Cave paintings are a type of parietal art (which category also includes petroglyphs, or engravings), found on the wall or ceilings of caves. The term usually implies prehistoric origin, but cave paintings can also be of recent production: In the Gabarnmung cave of northern Australia, the oldest paintings certainly predate 28,000 years ago, while the most recent ones were made less than a century ago.[3]

The oldest known cave paintings are over 40,000 years old (art of the Upper Paleolithic), found in both the Franco-Cantabrian region in western Europe, and in the caves in the district of Maros (Sulawesi, Indonesia). The oldest type of cave paintings are hand stencils and simple geometric shapes; the oldest undisputed examples of figurative cave paintings are somewhat younger, close to 35,000 years old.[4] A 2018 study claimed an age of 64,000 years for the oldest examples of (non-figurative) cave art in Iberia, which would imply production by Neanderthals rather than modern humans.[5] In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old, of an unknown animal, in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh on the Indonesian island of Borneo.[1][2]

Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave painting of Bull
The oldest known figurative painting, a depiction of a bull, was discovered in the Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave dated as over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old.[1][2]
Altamira bisons
Paleolithic cave painting of bisons (replica) from the Altamira cave, Cantabria, Spain, painted c. 20,000 years ago (Solutrean).
SantaCruz-CuevaManos-P2210651b
Cueva de las Manos located Perito Moreno, Argentina. The art in the cave is dated between 13,000–9,000 BP.

Dating

Nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prehistoric times. Initially, the age of the paintings had been a contentious issue, since methods like radiocarbon dating can produce misleading results if contaminated by samples of older or newer material,[6] and caves and rocky overhangs (where parietal art is found) are typically littered with debris from many time periods. But subsequent technology has made it possible to date the paintings by sampling the pigment itself, torch marks on the walls,[7] or the formation of carbonate deposits on top of the paintings.[8] The subject matter can also indicate chronology: for instance, the reindeer depicted in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas places the drawings in the last Ice Age.

The oldest known cave painting is a red hand stencil in Maltravieso cave, Cáceres, Spain. It has been dated using the uranium-thorium method[8] to older than 64,000 years and was made by a Neanderthal.[5] The oldest date given to an animal cave painting is now a bull dated circa as over 40 000 years, at Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave, East Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia.[9] Before this discovery, the oldest known cave painting was a depiction of a pig with a minimum age of 35,400 years, at Timpuseng cave in Sulawesi, Indonesia.[4]

The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France. These paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE (Upper Paleolithic) according to radiocarbon dating.[10] Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era and question this age.[11] However, more than 80 radiocarbon dates had been obtained by 2011, with samples taken from torch marks and from the paintings themselves, as well as from animal bones and charcoal found on the cave floor. The radiocarbon dates from these samples show that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet: 35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago. One of the surprises was that many of the paintings were modified repeatedly over thousands of years, possibly explaining the confusion about finer paintings that seemed to date earlier than cruder ones.[12]

Rhinos Chauvet Cave
An artistic depiction of a group of rhinoceros, was completed in the Chauvet Cave 30,000 to 32,000 years ago.

In 2009, cavers discovered drawings in Coliboaia Cave in Romania, stylistically comparable to those at Chauvet.[13] An initial dating puts the age of an image in the same range as Chauvet: about 32,000 years old.[14]

In Australia, cave paintings have been found on the Arnhem Land plateau showing megafauna which are thought to have been extinct for over 40,000 years, making this site another candidate for oldest known painting; however, the proposed age is dependent on the estimate of the extinction of the species seemingly depicted.[15] Another Australian site, Nawarla Gabarnmang, has charcoal drawings that have been radiocarbon-dated to 28,000 years, making it the oldest site in Australia and among the oldest in the world for which reliable date evidence has been obtained.[16]

Other examples may date as late as the Early Bronze Age, but the well-known Magdalenian style seen at Lascaux in France (c. 15,000 BCE) and Altamira in Spain died out about 10,000 BCE, coinciding with the advent of the Neolithic period. Some caves probably continued to be painted over a period of several thousands of years.[17]

The next phase of surviving European prehistoric painting, the rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin, was very different, concentrating on large assemblies of smaller and much less detailed figures, with at least as many humans as animals. This was created roughly between 10,000 and 5,500 years ago, and painted in rock shelters under cliffs or shallow caves, in contrast to the recesses of deep caves used in the earlier (and much colder) period. Although individual figures are less naturalistic, they are grouped in coherent grouped compositions to a much greater degree.

Subjects, themes, and patterns

Rock art bull
Prehistoric cave painting of animals at Albarracín, Teruel, Spain (rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin)

The most common subjects in cave paintings are large wild animals, such as bison, horses, aurochs, and deer, and tracings of human hands as well as abstract patterns, called finger flutings. The species found most often were suitable for hunting by humans, but were not necessarily the actual typical prey found in associated deposits of bones; for example, the painters of Lascaux have mainly left reindeer bones, but this species does not appear at all in the cave paintings, where equine species are the most common. Drawings of humans were rare and are usually schematic as opposed to the more detailed and naturalistic images of animal subjects. One explanation for this may be that realistically painting the human form was "forbidden by a powerful religious taboo."[18] Kieran D. O'Hara, geologist, suggests in his book Cave Art and Climate Change that climate controlled the themes depicted.[19] Pigments used include red and yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide and charcoal. Sometimes the silhouette of the animal was incised in the rock first, and in some caves all or many of the images are only engraved in this fashion, taking them somewhat out of a strict definition of "cave painting".

Similarly, large animals are also the most common subjects in the many small carved and engraved bone or ivory (less often stone) pieces dating from the same periods. But these include the group of Venus figurines, which have no real equivalent in cave paintings.

Hand stencils, made by placing a hand on the wall and blowing pigment at it (probably through a pipe of some kind), form a characteristic image of a roughly round area of solid pigment with the uncoloured shape of the hand in the centre, which may then be decorated with lines or dashes. These are often found in the same caves as other paintings, or may be the only form of painting in a location. Some walls contain many hand stencils. Similar hands are also painted in the usual fashion. A number of hands show a finger wholly or partly missing, for which a number of explanations have been given. Hand images are found in similar forms in Europe, Eastern Asia and South America.[20]

Theories and interpretations

Bestias11
Rock paintings from the Cave of Beasts (Gilf Kebir, Libyan Desert) Estimated 7000 BP

Henri Breuil interpreted the paintings as hunting magic to increase the abundance of prey.

Another theory, developed by David Lewis-Williams and broadly based on ethnographic studies of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies, is that the paintings were made by paleolithic shamans.[21] The shaman would retreat into the darkness of the caves, enter into a trance state, then paint images of his or her visions, perhaps with some notion of drawing out power from the cave walls themselves.

R. Dale Guthrie, who has studied both highly artistic and lower quality art and figurines, identifies a wide range of skill and age among the artists. He hypothesizes that the main themes in the paintings and other artifacts (powerful beasts, risky hunting scenes and the representation of women in the Venus figurines) are the work of adolescent males, who constituted a large part of the human population at the time.[22] However, in analyzing hand prints and stencils in French and Spanish caves, Dean Snow of Pennsylvania State University has proposed that a proportion of them, including those around the spotted horses in Pech Merle, were of female hands.[23]

Paleolithic cave art by region

Europe

20,000 Year Old Cave Paintings Hyena
30,000-year-old cave hyena painting found in the Chauvet Cave, France

Well-known cave paintings include those of:

Men of the old stone age (1915) Wolf
Polychrome cave painting of a wolf, Font-de-Gaume, France

Other sites include Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire, England (~14,500 ys old cave etchings and bas-reliefs discovered in 2003), Peștera Coliboaia in Romania (~29,000 y.o. art?),[24] and Kapova Cave in Russia (~16,000 y.o. art).

Rock painting was also performed on cliff faces; but fewer of those have survived because of erosion. One example is the rock paintings of Astuvansalmi (3000–2500 BC) in the Saimaa area of Finland.

When Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola first encountered the Magdalenian paintings of the Altamira cave, Cantabria, Spain in 1879, the academics of the time considered them hoaxes. Recent reappraisals and numerous additional discoveries have since demonstrated their authenticity, while at the same time stimulating interest in the artistry and symbolism[25] of Upper Palaeolithic peoples.

East and Southeast Asia

Hands in Pettakere Cave DYK crop
Caves in the district of Maros (Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hand stencils estimated between 35,000–40,000 BP

Originating in the Paleolithic period, the rock art found in Khoit Tsenkher Cave, Mongolia, includes symbols and animal forms painted from the walls up to the ceiling.[27] Stags, buffalo, oxen, ibex, lions, Argali sheep, antelopes, camels, elephants, ostriches, and other animal pictorials are present, often forming a palimpsest of overlapping images. The paintings appear brown or red in color, and are stylistically similar to other Paleolithic rock art from around the world but are unlike any other examples in Mongolia.

In Indonesia the caves in the district of Maros in Sulawesi are famous for their hand prints. About 1,500 negative handprints have also been found in 30 painted caves in the Sangkulirang area of Kalimantan; preliminary dating analysis as of 2005 put their age in the range of 10,000 years old.[28] A 2014 study based on uranium–thorium dating dated a Maros hand stencil to a minimum age of 39,900 years. A painting of a babirusa was dated to at least 35.4 ka, placing it among the oldest known figurative depictions worldwide. [4]

The Padah-Lin Caves of Burma contain 11,000-year-old paintings and many rock tools.

In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old, of an unknown animal, in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh on the Indonesian island of Borneo.[1][2]

India

Bhimbetka rock paintng1
Bhimbetka rock painting

The Bhimbetka rock shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. Paintings in Bhimbetka are dated to about 8,000 BCE.[29][30][31][32][33] Similar paintings are found in other parts of India as well. In Tamil Nadu, ancient Paleolithic Cave paintings are found in Kombaikadu, Kilvalai, Settavarai and Nehanurpatti. In Odisha they are found in Yogimatha and Gudahandi. In Karnataka, these paintings are found in Hiregudda near Badami. The most recent painting, consisting of geometric figures, date to the medieval period. Executed mainly in red and white with the occasional use of green and yellow, the paintings depict the lives and times of the people who lived in the caves, including scenes of childbirth, communal dancing and drinking, religious rites and burials, as well as indigenous animals.[34]

Southern Africa

Cave paintings found at the Apollo 11 Cave in Namibia are estimated to date from approximately 25,500–27,500 years ago.[35]

In 2011, archaeologists found a small rock fragment at Blombos Cave, about 300 km (190 mi) east of Cape Town on the southern cape coastline in South Africa, among spear points and other excavated material. After extensive testing for seven years, it was revealed that the lines drawn on the rock were handmade and from an ochre crayon dating back 73,000 years. This makes it the oldest known rock drawing.[36][37]

Australia

Significant early cave paintings, executed in ochre, have been found in Kakadu, Australia. Ochre is not an organic material, so carbon dating of these pictures is often impossible. Sometimes the approximate date, or at least, an epoch, can be surmised from the painting content, contextual artifacts, or organic material intentionally or inadvertently mixed with the inorganic ochre paint, including torch soot.[7]

A red ochre painting, discovered at the centre of the Arnhem Land Plateau, depicts two emu-like birds with their necks outstretched. They have been identified by a palaeontologist as depicting the megafauna species Genyornis, giant birds thought to have become extinct more than 40,000 years ago; however, this evidence is inconclusive for dating. It may merely suggest that Genyornis became extinct at a later date than previously determined.[15]

Hook Island in the Whitsunday Islands is also home to a number of cave paintings created by the seafaring Ngaro people.[38]

Holocene cave art

The following sections present notable examples of prehistorc cave art dated to after the end of the Upper Paleolithic (to the Holocene, after c. 11,500 years ago).

Asia

In the Philippines at Tabon Caves the oldest artwork may be a relief of a shark above the cave entrance. It was partially disfigured by a later jar burial scene.

The Edakkal Caves of Kerala, India, contain drawings that range over periods from the Neolithic] as early as 5,000 BCE to 1,000 BCE.[39][40][41]

Horn of Africa

Laas Geel
Cave paintings at the Laas Geel complex in northern Somaliland.

In 2002, a French archaeological team discovered the Laas Geel cave paintings on the outskirts of Hargeisa in the northwestern region of Somaliland. Dating back around 5,000 years, the paintings depict both wild animals and decorated cows. They also feature herders, who are believed to be the creators of the rock art.[42] In 2008, Somali archaeologists announced the discovery of other cave paintings in Dhambalin region, which the researchers suggest includes one of the earliest known depictions of a hunter on horseback. The rock art is in the Ethiopian-Arabian style, dated to 1000 to 3000 BCE.[43][44]

Additionally, between the towns of Las Khorey and El Ayo in Karinhegane is a site of numerous cave paintings of real and mythical animals. Each painting has an inscription below it, which collectively have been estimated to be around 2,500 years old.[45][46] Karihegane's rock art is in the same distinctive Ethiopian-Arabian style as the Laas Geel and Dhambalin cave paintings.[47][48] Around 25 miles from Las Khorey is found Gelweita, another key rock art site.[46]

In Djibouti, rock art of what appear to be antelopes and a giraffe are also found at Dorra and Balho.[49]

North Africa

Tassili - catapulte?
Cave painting at the Tassili n'Ajjer UNESCO World Heritage Site in southeast Algeria.

Many cave paintings are found in the Tassili n'Ajjer mountains in southeast Algeria. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the rock art was first discovered in 1933 and has since yielded 15,000 engravings and drawings that keep a record of the various animal migrations, climatic shifts, and change in human inhabitation patterns in this part of the Sahara from 6000 BCE to the late classical period.[50] Other cave paintings are also found at the Akakus, Mesak Settafet and Tadrart in Libya and other Sahara regions including: Ayr mountains, Niger and Tibesti, Chad.

The Cave of Swimmers and the Cave of Beasts in southwest Egypt, near the border with Libya, in the mountainous Gilf Kebir region of the Sahara Desert. The Cave of Swimmers was discovered in October 1933 by the Hungarian explorer László Almásy. The site contains rock painting images of people swimming, which are estimated to have been created 10,000 years ago during the time of the most recent Ice Age.

Southern Africa

At uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park, South Africa, now thought to be some 3,000 years old, the paintings by the San people who settled in the area some 8,000 years ago depict animals and humans, and are thought to represent religious beliefs. Human figures are much more common in the rock art of Africa than in Europe.[51]

North America

Distinctive monochrome and polychrome cave paintings and murals exist in the mid-peninsula regions of southern Baja California and northern Baja California Sur, consisting of Pre-Columbian paintings of humans, land animals, sea creatures, and abstract designs. These paintings are mostly confined to the sierras of this region, but can also be found in outlying mesas and rock shelters. According to recent radiocarbon studies of the area, of materials recovered from archaeological deposits in the rock shelters and on materials in the paintings themselves, suggest that the Great Murals may have a time range extending as far back as 7,500 years ago.[52]

Native artists in the Chumash tribes created cave paintings that are located in present-day Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties in Southern California. They include well executed examples at Burro Flats Painted Cave and Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park.

There are also Native American pictogram examples in caves of the Southwestern United States. Cave art that is 6,000 years old was found in the Cumberland Plateau region of Tennessee.[53]

South America

Serra da Capivara - Several Paintings 2b
Cave painting at Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil

Serra da Capivara National Park is a national park in the north east of Brazil with many prehistoric paintings; the park was created to protect the prehistoric artifacts and paintings found there. It became a World Heritage Site in 1991. Its best known archaeological site is Pedra Furada.

It is located in northeast state of Piauí, between latitudes 8° 26' 50" and 8° 54' 23" south and longitudes 42° 19' 47" and 42° 45' 51" west. It falls within the municipal areas of São Raimundo Nonato, São João do Piauí, Coronel José Dias and Canto do Buriti. It has an area of 1291.4 square kilometres (319,000 acres). The area has the largest concentration of prehistoric small farms on the American continents. Scientific studies confirm that the Capivara mountain range was densely populated in prehistoric periods.

Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for "Cave of the Hands") is a cave located in the province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, 163 km (101 mi) south of the town of Perito Moreno, within the borders of the Francisco P. Moreno National Park, which includes many sites of archaeological and paleontological importance.

The hand images are often negative (stencilled). Besides these there are also depictions of human beings, guanacos, rheas, felines and other animals, as well as geometric shapes, zigzag patterns, representations of the sun, and hunting scenes. Similar paintings, though in smaller numbers, can be found in nearby caves. There are also red dots on the ceilings, probably made by submerging their hunting bolas in ink, and then throwing them up. The colours of the paintings vary from red (made from hematite) to white, black or yellow. The negative hand impressions date to around 550 BCE, the positive impressions from 180 BCE, while the hunting drawings are calculated to more than 10,000 years old.[54] Most of the hands are left hands, which suggests that painters held the spraying pipe with their right hand.

GuaTewet tree of life-LHFage
Gua Tewet, the tree of life, Borneo, Indonesia.

Southeast Asia

There are rock paintings in caves in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Burma. In Thailand, caves and scarps along the Thai-Burmese border, in the Petchabun Range of Central Thailand, and overlooking the Mekong River in Nakorn Sawan Province, all contain galleries of rock paintings. In Malaysia the oldest paintings are at Gua Tambun in Perak, dated at 2000 years, and those in the Painted Cave at Niah Caves National Park are 1200 years old. The anthropologist Ivor Hugh Norman Evans visited Malaysia in the early 1920s and found that some of the tribes (especially Negritos) were still producing cave paintings and had added depictions of modern objects including what are believed to be cars.[55] (See prehistoric Malaysia.)

See also

References

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  48. ^ "Rock Art Sites of Somaliland". CyArk. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  49. ^ Universität Frankfurt am Main (2003). Journal of African Archaeology, Volumes 1-2. Africa Manga Verlag. p. 230. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  50. ^ "Tassili n'Ajjer". UNESCO World Heritage Center. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  51. ^ Jaroff, Leon (1997-06-02). "Etched in Stone". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-07. Wildlife and humans tend to get equal billing in African rock art. (In the caves of western Europe, by contrast, pictures of animals cover the walls and human figures are rare.) In southern Africa, home to the San, or Bushmen, many of the rock scenes depicting people interpret the rituals and hallucinations of the shamans who still dominate the San culture today. Among the most evocative images are those believed to represent shamans deep in trance: a reclining, antelope-headed man surrounded by imaginary beasts, for example, or an insect-like humanoid covered with wild decorations.
  52. ^ "Baja California Rock Art Dated to 7,500 Years Ago". news.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  53. ^ Simekm Jan F.; Alan Cressler; Nicholas P. Herrmann; Sarah C. Sherwood (2013). "Sacred landscapes of the south-eastern USA: prehistoric rock and cave art in Tennessee". Antiquity. 87 (336): 430–446.
  54. ^ Le Comte, Christian (2003). Argentine Indians. Consorcio de Editores. ISBN 987-9479-11-4.
  55. ^ Weber, George. "The Semang". The Negrito of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.

Further reading

  • Dubowski, Mark (2010). Discovery in the Cave (Children's early reader). New York, USA: Random House. ISBN 0-375-85893-8
  • Fage, Luc-Henri; Chazine, Jean-Michel (2010). Borneo – Memory of the Caves. Le Kalimanthrope. ISBN 978-2-9536616-1-3.
  • Heyd, Thomas; Clegg, John, eds. (2005). Aesthetics and Rock Art. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0-7546-3924-X.
  • Curtis, Gregory (2006). The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists. Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4348-4.
  • Nechvatal, Joseph (2005). "Immersive Excess in the Apse of Lascaux". Technonoetic Arts. 3 (3): 181–192. doi:10.1386/tear.3.3.181/1.

External links

Art of Europe

The art of Europe, or Western art, encompasses the history of visual art in Europe. European prehistoric art started as mobile Upper Paleolithic rock and cave painting and petroglyph art and was characteristic of the period between the Paleolithic and the Iron Age. Written histories of European art often begin with the art of the Ancient Middle East and the Ancient Aegean civilizations, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. Parallel with these significant cultures, art of one form or another existed all over Europe, wherever there were people, leaving signs such as carvings, decorated artifacts and huge standing stones. However a consistent pattern of artistic development within Europe becomes clear only with the art of Ancient Greece, adopted and transformed by Rome and carried; with the Empire, across much of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.The influence of the art of the Classical period waxed and waned throughout the next two thousand years, seeming to slip into a distant memory in parts of the Medieval period, to re-emerge in the Renaissance, suffer a period of what some early art historians viewed as "decay" during the Baroque period, to reappear in a refined form in Neo-Classicism and to be reborn in Post-Modernism.Before the 1800s, the Christian church was a major influence upon European art, the commissions of the Church, architectural, painterly and sculptural, providing the major source of work for artists. The history of the Church was very much reflected in the history of art, during this period. In the same period of time there was renewed interest in heroes and heroines, tales of mythological gods and goddesses, great wars, and bizarre creatures which were not connected to religion. Most art of the last 200 years has been produced without reference to religion and often with no particular ideology at all, but art has often been influenced by political issues, whether reflecting the concerns of patrons or the artist.

European art is arranged into a number of stylistic periods, which, historically, overlap each other as different styles flourished in different areas. Broadly the periods are, Classical, Byzantine, Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Modern, Postmodern and New European Painting.

Cave Painting (band)

Cave Painting are an alternative rock band from Brighton, UK, who formed in 2010 and are signed to Third Rock Recordings. They released the singles "So Calm", as well as their debut EP, You'll Be Running Soon in 2011, featuring "Midnight Love", "Rio" and two other songs. They also released a demo of their song "Leaf" as a free download on social network sites.Their album Votive Life was released by Third Rock Recordings on 24 September 2012.Band members include lead vocalist Adam Kane, keyboardist Sam Simon, guitarist Harry Smallwood, bassist Richard Snabel and drummer Jonathan McCawley.

Cave dweller

A cave dweller, or troglodyte (not to be confused with troglobite), is a human being who inhabits a cave or the area beneath the overhanging rocks of a cliff.

Cave of El Castillo

The Cueva de El Castillo, or Cave of the Castle, is an archaeological site within the complex of the Caves of Monte Castillo, in Puente Viesgo, Cantabria, Spain.

The archaeological stratigraphy has been divided into around 19 layers, depending on the source they slightly deviate from each other, however the overall sequence is consistent, beginning in the Proto-Aurignacian, and ending in the Bronze Age.The El Castillo cave contains the oldest known cave painting: a large red stippled disk in the Panel de las Manos

was dated to more than 40,000 years old using uranium-thorium dating in a 2012 study.

This is consistent with the tradition of cave painting originating in the Proto-Aurignacian, with the first arrival of anatomically modern humans in Europe. A 2013 study of finger length ratios in Upper Paleolithic hand stencils found in France and Spain determined that the majority were of female hands, overturning the previous widely held belief that this art form was primarily a male activity.Cueva del Castillo was discovered in 1903 by Hermilio Alcalde del Río, a Spanish archaeologist, who was one of the pioneers in the study of the earliest cave paintings of Cantabria. The entrance to the cave was smaller in the past and has been enlarged as a result of archaeological excavations.

Alcalde del Río found an extensive sequence of images executed in charcoal and red ochre on the walls and ceilings of multiple caverns.

The paintings and numerous markings and graffiti span from the Lower Paleolithic to the Bronze Age, and even into the Middle Ages.

There are over 150 depictions already catalogued, including those that emphasize the engravings of a few deer, complete with shadowing.

Cave paintings in India

Almost all early painting in India survives in caves, as very few buildings from Ancient India survive, and though these were probably often painted, the work has been lost. The history of cave paintings in India or rock art range from drawings and paintings from prehistoric times, beginning around 30,000 BCE in the caves of Central India, typified by those at the Bhimbetka rock shelters to elaborate frescoes at sites such as the rock-cut artificial caves at Ajanta and Ellora, extending as late as the 8th - 10th century CE.

Chiquihuitillos

Chiquihuitillos is an archeological site located in the city and municipality of Mina in the Nuevo León State, México. In general throughout northeastern Mexico archaeological wealth is priceless. The site has impressive petroglyphs, is considered an important area in the regional context.

Where there is nothing, in the heart of the desert, within the limits of Mina, Villa Aldama and Bustamante, is one of the sites with the highest concentration of cave paintings in Mexico. This is Chiquihuitillos, a set of several hills containing a series of rocky shelters where ancient tribes painted impressive drawings in rock and imprinted elements of their cosmos view.

First, it is an important concentration of cave paintings and secondly the manifestations show similarities with a number of other contiguous sites in the region, so we can speak of a tradition

The area was formerly inhabited by native Alzapas, that spoke the Coahuilteco language. It is not certain how many people lived there, since it does not seem to be a residential place, rather seems to be a place for visitors and not residential, currently there is no water in the vicinity.While it is true that these ancient tribes left no traces of pyramids, as it is the case of other mesoamerican cultures, however this heritage, provide new evidence for comprehension of the past.Specialists coincide in the northeastern area has a different archaeological heritage, but just as important as the rest of the country. There is an erroneous perception that in the north there is nothing, and therefore has dismissed archaeological study of the cultural processes.While the Chiquihuitillos cave painting are not pyramid structures, the importance and the monumentality of these painting manifestations of on ravines and cliffs is truly impressive.

Cueva Ahumada

Cueva Ahumada is an archaeological site located within several canyons in the La Rinconada village, García Municipality, in the Nuevo León state, México. Cave painting in northeastern Mexico covers two types of artwork: rock engraving, also called petroglyphs (Pictogram or pictographs). A third type of rock art, geoglyphs so far has not been detected in this region.

Cave painting art is found in all human occupied continents, it is a world heritage, as proclaimed by UNESCO. Its antiquity goes back to the dawn of human prehistory. In France and Spain, the most ancient cave paintings date back to 30,000 years Before Present (BP).

Davaar Island

Davaar Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Dà Bhàrr) or Island Davaar is located at the mouth of Campbeltown Loch off the east coast of Kintyre, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It is a tidal island, linked to the mainland by a natural shingle causeway called the Dhorlin near Campbeltown at low tide. The crossing can be made in around 40 minutes.

Davaar was known as the island of Sanct Barre between the years 1449 to 1508. The modern form Davaar is from older Do Bharre - thy St Barre. Dr Gillies in his "Place Names of Argyll" appears to accept the popular derivation, Double-pointed (Da-Bharr) Island.

In 1854, a Lighthouse was built on the north of the island by the lighthouse engineers David and Thomas Stevenson. The lighthouse was automated in 1983, and today, Davaar is inhabited by caretakers, sheep, goats and mink.

The Lookout, a square building standing on a small knoll close to the lighthouse, was built during World War Two to house naval crews, whose task it was to stretch anti-submarine nets across the water, protecting Campbeltown. It is now rented out as a holiday home.

The island is also known for its seven caves, one of which contains a life size cave painting depicting the crucifixion, painted in 1887 by local artist Archibald MacKinnon after he had a vision in a dream suggesting him to do so. The painting caused uproar in the area as it was seen as a sign from God; it is said that when the townsfolk discovered it was MacKinnon, and not God, he was exiled from the town indefinitely. Restored several times since, including twice by the original artist, the painting was vandalised in July 2006, having a red and black depiction of Che Guevara painted over the original masterpiece. It has since been restored again.Davaar Island is one of 43 tidal islands that can be walked to from the mainland of Great Britain and one of 17 that can be walked to from the Scottish mainland.In 2001 the island had a population of 2 as recorded by the census but in 2011 there were no "usual residents" living there.

El Vallecito

El Vallecito is an archaeological site located in the city of La Rumorosa, in the Tecate Municipality, Baja California, Mexico.

It is believed that Baja California had human presence for thousands of years, however the available evidence indicates an occupation approximate from 8000 BCE. Some sites are more recent, it is estimated that they were developed in the last thousand years, though the engravings, more resistant to erosion, could be older.The site was inhabited by the Kumeyaay ethnic group whose territory comprised from Santo Tomas, Baja California, to the San Diego coast in California. The eastern region ranged from the Escondido, California, area up to the mountains and deserts in northern Baja California, including the area of Laguna Salada and part of the sierra Juarez known as La Rumorosa.This site has more than 18 sets of cave painting of which only six may be visited.The Vallecito is considered one of the most important of the region. There are several important archaeological zones; however, officially not yet been appointed by the responsible authorities.The site has many cave paintings or petroglyphs made by the ancient peninsula inhabitants. It is known that the territory was occupied by nomadic groups who lived in the region and that they based their existence in hunting and the harvesting of fruits, seeds, roots and sea food.The decorated rocks with white, black and red figures are pictures made approximately three thousand years ago, when various migratory flows penetrated the Baja California region, known as Yuman or Quechan, which came from what is now the United States.

Figurative art

Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork (particularly paintings and sculptures) that is clearly derived from real object sources and so is, by definition, representational. The term is often in contrast to abstract art:

Since the arrival of abstract art the term figurative has been used to refer to any form of modern art that retains strong references to the real world.

Painting and sculpture can therefore be divided into the categories of figurative, representational and abstract, although, strictly speaking, abstract art is derived (or abstracted) from a figurative or other natural source. However, "abstract" is sometimes used as a synonym for non-representational art and non-objective art, i.e. art which has no derivation from figures or objects.

Figurative art is not synonymous with figure painting (art that represents the human figure), although human and animal figures are frequent subjects.

Indian boar

The Indian boar (Sus scrofa cristatus), also known as the Andamanese pig or Moupin pig is a subspecies of wild boar native to India, Nepal, Burma, western Thailand and Sri Lanka.

The Indian boar differs from its European counterpart by its large mane which runs in a crest along its back from its head to lower body, larger, more sharply featured and straighter skull, its smaller, sharper ears and overall lighter build. It is taller and more sparsely haired than the European form, though its back bristles are much more developed. The tail is also more tufted, and the cheeks hairier. Adults measure from 83.82 to 91.44 cm (33.00 to 36.00 in) in shoulder height (with one specimen in Bengal having reached 38 inches) and five feet in body length. Weight ranges from 90.72 to 136.08 kg (200.0 to 300.0 lb).The animal has interacted with humans in India since at least the Upper Paleolithic, with the oldest depiction being a cave painting in Bhimbetaka, and it occasionally appears in Vedic mythology. A story present in the Brāhmaṇas has Indra slaying an avaricious boar, who has stolen the treasure of the asuras, then giving its carcass to Vishnu, who offers it as a sacrifice to the gods. In the story's retelling in the Charaka Samhita, the boar is described as a form of Prajāpti, and is credited with having raised the earth from the primeval waters. In the Rāmāyaṇa and the Purāṇas, the same boar is portrayed as an avatar of Vishnu.

Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve

The Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located on the Northern Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 585-hectare (1,450-acre) reserve is situated near Yarrowyck and 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Armidale.

Ngaro people

The Ngaro were a seafaring Australian Aborigine group of people that inhabited the Whitsunday Islands and coastal regions of Queensland, in an area that archaeologically shows evidence of human habitation since 9000 BP. Ngaro society was destroyed by warfare with traders, colonists, and the Australian Native Police. The Native Police Corps forcibly relocated the remaining Ngaro aborigines in 1870 to a penal colony on Palm Island or to the lumber mills of Brampton Island as forced laborers.

Outline of prehistoric technology

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to prehistoric technology.

Prehistoric technology – technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records; it is also the record itself. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric (meaning "before history"), including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, cut food, and bury their dead.

Pech Merle

Pech Merle is a cave which opens onto a hillside at Cabrerets in the Lot département of the Occitania region in France, about 35 minutes by road east of Cahors. It is one of the few prehistoric cave painting sites in France that remain open to the general public. Extending for over a kilometre and a half from the entrance are caverns, the walls of which are painted with dramatic murals dating from the Gravettian culture (some 25,000 years BC). Some of the paintings and engravings, however, may date from the later Magdalenian era (16,000 years BC).

This area once had a great river flowing through it, cutting underground channels which were later used by humans for shelter and eventually for mural painting.

The cave art located in the deeper areas of the cave was discovered in 1922 by Marthe David, her brother Andre David and Henri Dutetre, three teenagers who had been exploring the cave for two years. Like other children of the area, these three had been encouraged and assisted in their exploration by Father Amedee Lemozi, the curate of Cabrerets and an amateur archaeologist who had discovered other cave paintings in the region.The walls of seven of the chambers at Pech Merle have fresh, lifelike images of woolly mammoth, spotted horses, single colour horses, bovids, reindeer, handprints, and some humans. Footprints of children, preserved in what was once clay, have been found more than half a mile underground. In 2013 the Tracking in Caves-project tested experience based reading of prehistoric footprints by specialised trackers of Ju/'hoansi San with great success. Within a six-mile radius of the site are ten other caves with prehistoric art of the Upper Palaeolithic period, but none of these are open to the public.

During the Ice Age the caves were very probably used as places of refuge by prehistoric peoples when the area had an Arctic climate, very cold temperatures, and native animal species very different from those of the present day. It is supposed that, at some point in the past, rain and sliding earth covered the cave entrances with an airtight seal until the 20th century.

Experimental reconstruction work by French archaeologist Michel Lorblanchet has suggested that the application of the paint for some of the paintings was probably by means of a delicate spitting technique.

The cave at Pech Merle has been open to the public since 1926. Visiting groups are limited in size and number so as not to destroy the delicate artwork with the excessive humidity, heat and carbon dioxide produced by breathing.

Rock art in Iran

Rock art in Iran includes archaeological petroglyphs, or carving in rock; pictographs, or painting on rock; and rock reliefs. Large numbers of prehistoric rock art, more than 50,000, have been discovered in Iran.

Dating back to 40,800 years before present in Iran, rock art is the oldest surviving artwork. Prehistoric rock art provides insights into past eras and cultures. Archaeologists classify the tools for carving petroglyphs by their historical era. Incising tools include flint, metal, or thigh bones of hunted prey.

The largest rock art panel in Iran, located near Malayer in Hamadan Province spans 12 meters and features more than 100 petroglyphs.

Upper Paleolithic

The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic, Late Stone Age) is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Holocene), according to some theories coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity in early modern humans, until the advent of the Neolithic Revolution and agriculture.

Anatomically modern humans (i.e. Homo sapiens) are believed to have emerged out of Africa around 200,000 years ago, although these lifestyles changed very little from that of archaic humans of the Middle Paleolithic, until about 50,000 years ago, when there was a marked increase in the diversity of artefacts.

This period coincides with the expansion of modern humans from Africa throughout Asia and Eurasia, which contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals.

The Upper Paleolithic has the earliest known evidence of organized settlements, in the form of campsites, some with storage pits. Artistic work blossomed, with cave painting, petroglyphs, carvings and engravings on bone or ivory. The first evidence of human fishing is also found, from artefacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. More complex social groupings emerged, supported by more varied and reliable food sources and specialized tool types. This probably contributed to increasing group identification or ethnicity.The peopling of Australia most likely took place before c. 60 ka. Europe was peopled after c. 45 ka.

Anatomically modern humans are known to have expanded northward into Siberia as far as the 58th parallel by about 45 ka (Ust'-Ishim man).

The Upper Paleolithic is divided by the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), during about 25 to 15 ka. The peopling of the Americas occurred during this time, with East and Central Asia populations reaching the Bering land bridge after about 35 ka, and expanding into the Americas by about 15 ka.

In Western Eurasia, the Paleolithic eases into the so-called Epipaleolithic or Mesolithic from the end of the LGM, beginning 15 ka. The Holocene glacial retreat begins 11.7 ka (10th millennium BC), falling well into the Old World Epipaleolithic, and marking the beginning of the earliest forms of farming in the Fertile Crescent.

Yarrowyck, New South Wales

Yarrowyck is a rural locality on the western slopes of the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia.

Yarrowyck is located in Uralla Shire and in Sandon County. The locality is about 23 kilometres north west of Uralla on Thunderbolts Way and about 31 kilometres west of the city of Armidale. Yarrowyck is an agricultural area with mostly sheep and beef cattle breeding and grazing activities in the valley of the Rocky River.

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