top of page

Public art 40 000 years ago

Rock carvings Communication in public is not only a way of communicating to the rest of the society in real time but has also shown to be an important way of communicating through time for societies thousands of years later to understand their past as well as the evolution and history of mankind. Engravings and rock carving can today be called one of the oldest continuously practiced art forms. Techniques and expressions are unique to each culture, but we can also see the similarities that suggest that they had interaction.

Rock carvings in Tanum, in the north of Bohuslän, Sweden reveal the life and beliefs of people in Europe during the Bronze Age. A unique artistic achievement not only for their rich and varied motifs (depictions of humans and animals, weapons, boats and other subjects) but also for their cultural and chronological unity. They are recognized for their large numbers and outstanding quality.

According to Ancient Origins a study published in October 2014, in the journal Nature, revealed that more than 100 ancient paintings of hands and animals were found within seven limestone caves on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The research showed that humans were producing rock art 40,000 years ago at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world.

The fact that people in Sulawesi were producing art at the same time as people in Europe suggests that either human creativity emerged independently at about the same time around the world, or that when humans left Africa they already had the capacity and inclination for art.

Judaculla a large rock in the mountains of Jackson County, North Carolina lies in a sacred site for the Cherokee Indians. It is covered with petroglyphs. There are said to be 1500 in total estimated to between 3000 and 2000 BC. No other stones in the area were found with similar markings. The motives are said to span different motives including maps, religious and graffiti of ancient people.

The oldest rock art found in North America is said to be a set of petroglyphs in western Nevada dated to between 10,500 and 14,800 years old.

Carved into limestone the rock art includes simple petroglyphs such as straight lines and swirls and more complex resembling trees, flowers, or the veins of a leaf.

Tassili n'Ajjer has been described as the finest prehistoric open-air museum in the world, set in a vast plateau in the south-east of the Algerian Sahara at the borders of Libya, Niger and Mali. Covering 72,000 square kilometers paintings and engravings show climatic changes, animal migrations and the evolution of human life on the edge of the Sahara from 10,000 BC. It includes more than 15,000 paintings and engravings on exposed rock faces.

Recent Posts
bottom of page