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Anonymous
timer Asked: Apr 24th, 2017

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Prehistoric painted caves are among the most surprising and least well understood artifacts of early human history. Dated to the Upper Paleothic period (about 50,000 to 8,000 BP), they are most prevalent in Europe but have also been found elsewhere (for example, southeast Asia). They are a dramatic sign of the “creative explosion” that marks the beginning of modern human history.

Review Pages 20-23 in your textbook (especially the sidebars on Pages 20 and 21), and browse the resources listed in the Prehistoric Painted Caves Study Guide.docxView in a new window. Answer the following prompt with an original comment (300 words min.) and then read and reply (50 words min.) to at least two other student comments.

The sidebar on Page 21 of your textbook ("Why Is There Art in Paleolithic Caves?") describes several possible theories as to why prehistoric peoples painted caves in the way they did. Do any of these theories seem right to you? If so, why? Can you think of any other explanations for these paintings? Support your comment with reference to specific paintings illustrated in the textbook or online resources. Feel free to embed photos in your post.

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PREHISTORIC PAINTED CAVES STUDY GUIDE Prehistoric painted caves are among the most surprising and least well understood artifacts of early human history. Dated to the Upper Paleothic period (about 50,000 to 8,000 BP), they are most prevalent in Europe but have also been found elsewhere (for example, southeast Asia). They are a dramatic sign of the “creative explosion” that marks the beginning of modern human history. ONLINE RESOURCES For an overview of the topic, the Wikipedia article on Cave Painting is pretty good: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_painting A National Geographic article about the discovery of El Castillo Cave in Spain, the oldest extant example of cave paintings in Europe: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/120614-neanderthal-cavepaintings-spain-sciencepike/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20150804_invitation_cr_is_d# A BBC article about the recent discovery of cave paintings in Indonesia that may be as old –or older! – than examples in Europe: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29415716 The French Ministry of Culture’s website for the exceptionally well-preserved Chauvet Cave in southern France: http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/chauvet/en/index.html For a broader exploration of early human rock art, including painted caves around the world, see The Bradshaw Foundation’s rich website : http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/index.php DOCUMENTARIES Werner Herzog, dir. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010). See NYT review: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/movies/werner-herzogs-cave-of-forgottendreams-review.html?_r=0 Nigel Spivey, nar. The Day Pictures Were Born, Episode 2 of the BBC Series How Art Made the World. See PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/howartmadetheworld/episodes/pictures/

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