Prehistoric art

Humans make art. We do this for many reasons and with whatever technologies are available to us. Prehistoric art refers artifacts made before there was a written record. Long before the oldest written languages were developed, people had become expert at creating forms that were both practical and beautiful. The earliest art comes from the Paleolithic era (the Old Stone Age), but it was in the Neolithic era that we see the most important developments in human history. The way we live today—settled in cities, protected by laws, eating food from farms—all this dates back approximately 10,000 years ago to the Neolithic era.










Lion Man
The cave lion was the fiercest animal of the ice age, and this mammoth ivory carving combines human with lion.

Lion Man











Jade Cong
Found in large numbers in burials, these Chinese carvings constitutes an enormous effort by skilled craftsman.

Jade Cong





Stonehenge
Recognized worldwide, Stonehenge seems an impossible task: how, and why, did prehistoric people build it?

Stonehenge


Catalhoyuk
The city of Çatalhöyük points to one of man's most important transformations, from nomad to settled farmer.

Çatalhöyük