Neolithic art

The way we live today, settled in homes, close to other people in towns and cities, protected by laws, eating food grown on farms, and with leisure time to learn, explore and invent is all a result of the Neolithic revolution—the development of the technology needed to plant and harvest crops and to domesticate animals.

c. 10,0000 B.C.E. - 2000 B.C.E.

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Rock carvings in Tanum
Rock carvings in Tanum

These prehistoric carvings reveal the life and beliefs of people in Europe during the Bronze Age and are remarkable for their large numbers and outstanding quality.

Orkney
Orkney

The monuments at Orkney constitute a major prehistoric cultural landscape which gives a graphic depiction of life in this remote archipelago in the far north of Scotland some 5,000 years ago.

Brú na Bóinne
Brú na Bóinne

This is Europe's largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art.

Rock drawings in Valcamonica
Rock drawings in Valcamonica

Valcamonica, situated in the Lombardy plain, has one of the world's greatest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs

Rock Art in the Green Sahara (Neolithic)
Rock Art in the Green Sahara (Neolithic)

Rock art is one of the best records of the life of past peoples who lived across the Sahara.

The Neolithic revolution
The Neolithic revolution

In the most important development in human history, Neolithic people took the first step toward civilization.

The Jericho Skull
The Jericho Skull

Is the plaster face on this skull modeled after a real person? Is it one of the world’s oldest portraits?

Nuragic architecture at Su Nuraxi Barumini, Sardinia
Nuragic architecture at Su Nuraxi Barumini, Sardinia

The Nuragic civilization of the island of Sardinia presents a mystery—what were their huge stone towers?

Running Horned Woman, Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria
Running Horned Woman, Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria

In an ancient North African “rock city,” modern explorers wetted a wall with water—revealing this graceful image.

Working jade
Working jade

Jade is a stone that is too hard to carve—to work it, artisans slowly rub away stone with grit.

Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya)
Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Libya)

Images on rocks in the Sahara provide a glimpse into the development of humans in this now barren land.

Anthropomorphic stele
Anthropomorphic stele

This stone marker depicts an abstracted human. How should we interpret one of the Arabia’s earliest artifacts?

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