Module 1 Essay example

Submitted By nbeck8004
Words: 558
Pages: 3

Module 1 There are many differences between the prehistoric cave paintings of animals and human figures of Upper Paleolithic art. The bulk of these wall paintings and relief sculptures were produced from around 30,000 to 10,000 years ago. Some of the main differences include how detailed animals like horses, bison, mammoths, and cattle are depicted. These details include how powerful these animals were, with their “meat-bearing flanks, powerful legs, dangerous horns or tusks” (Stokstad & Cothren, 2010). While on the other hand, most humans are represented as stick figures sometimes with the head of a simple bird. They are usually still and motionless, unlike the elegant and graceful gallops of animals. In addition to cave and wall paintings, there are relief sculptures that were carved out of clay on the floor of a cave. An example is Figure 1-10 where Stockstad describes how the body of the bison protrudes from the background and still highlights the large shoulders, legs, and graceful coats just like the paintings. These detailed relief sculptures seem to be reserved for only animals and, the contrast between animals and humans is clear with stylized sculptures made of ivory like Figure 1-3 where the attributes of the woman are reduced down to basic geometric shapes and mostly void of detail. Also the basic outlines of human hands were found suggesting that the entirety and detail of animals are more import than human beings. Just like there are many differences between how animals and humans are represented in prehistoric art, there may be more theories regarding the meanings of the same paintings and sculptures. Some of these earliest theories included the basic argument that these human beings just did this art for aesthetics or beauty but, this was quickly disregarded because of the extensive skill and patience that it would take to create one of these pieces. Now most scholars believe that the caves that these paintings are in were used for special reasons like religious or spiritual gatherings. These special places could also serve as educational tools. Some of the evidence that supports the use of these caves as important places includes how many smaller footprints were found in caves, suggesting the presence