Toward the end of the Paleolithic period the archaeological record begins to reveal artistic work in abundance. Art from this time period falls into two main categories: portable and fixed. Samples of portable art include small figurines and decorated objects carved from bone, wood, shell or stone. Samples of fixed art include paintings and reliefs like those found in caves. The Lascaux site in southwestern France contains some of the best known cave paintings from this period. Containing nearly 2,000 prehistoric paintings, many depict extinct animals known from the fossil record of the region and have been dated at more than 17,000 years old. Want to see? Check out this virtual tour of Lascaux.
What do you think? Pretty amazing, right? We tend to think of prehistoric paintings as being somewhat simplistic but they are actually quite sophisticated in technique and depiction. A beautiful glimpse into an ancient mind.