ART AND FASHION OF PREHISTORIC FRANCE

Since the dawn of the existence, mankind has constantly fought for the survival of bare necessities such as food, water, shelter. This was to sustain himself and pass his genes onto the next generations. It followed the survival of the fittest. Our great ancestors are not as evolved as us today. Thousands of years progressed for the evolution of mankind. Within this process, our great grand ancestors recorded their daily lives and activities by engraving on rocks, painting in caves using natural dyes available. Several human remains have also been found in burial sites and certain tools and artifacts have also been discovered.

The Cave of Niaux located in Niaux of south-western France contains many prehistoric paintings of superior quality from the Magdalenian. It was established that the paintings had been emerging on the cave walls during a long period between 11500 and 10500 years BC. One can most commonly find images of animals such as horses, ibex and the bison. They have been outlined and drawn by charcoal which meant that they had knowledge about the use of fire and figured it could be a way to possibly draw which is quite surprising because even till today’s date artist use charcoal to sketch images.

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Fig 1: Entrance to the Grotte de Niaux

Geometric Signs from Niaux Cave in France

Fig 2: Geometric Signs from Niaux Cave in France.

Similarly in Le grotte de Bedeilhac was the another place of refuge and probable ritual for hunters of the time of human groups of the Metal Age(Rock art found there dates from the middle Magdalenian to the late Magdalenian. Strangely similar animals were found in both the caves and had similar animals drawn as well using the same and other medium. One could find clay sculptures, bone polishers, and many paintings and engravings on the walls. This meant they began observing and discovering possible resources they could use for day to day use. They started polishing ivory from ibex horns and other surfaces. Ivory could have been a useful tool for the cavemen to defend themselves and could have also had ornamental value There must have been abundance from Clay soil which they have engraved a deer’s legs and other such animals. They might have worshiped these animals.

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Fig 3: An ibex made from charcoal

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Fig 4: A bison made in charcoal

Strangely enough there has never been a proper explanation as to the significance behind such prehistoric records. Each individual has a different answer for the same things which make it seem further more mysterious and interesting at the same time.

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Fig 5: Grotte de Niaux


List of References

1. Bradshaw Foundations, n.d, Palaeolithic Cave Paintings of the Niaux Cave in France, http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/niaux/, Accessed August 23, 2014

2. Ariege Pyrenees, n.d, Grotte De Niaux, http://www.grands-sites-ariege.fr/en/grotte-de-niaux/detail/1/presentation-10, Accessed August 23, 2014.

Bibliography

1. The Guardian, May 26 2013, Prehistoric cave art in the Dordogne, http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/may/26/prehistoric-cave-art-dordogne, Accessed August 23, 2014

Annexure

1. Figure 1, Mountains and Rivers, Feb 23, 2014, The Ice age paintings of Grotte de Niauxhttp://mountainsrivers.com/2014/02/23/the-ice-age-paintings-of-the-grotte-de-niaux/, Accessed Aug 23, 2014

2. Figure 2, Bradshaw Foundation, n.d, Why should we care about geometric signs?http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/geometric_signs/geometric_signs_france.php, Accessed Aug 23, 2014

3. Figure 3, Mountains and Rivers, Feb 23, 2014, The Ice age paintings of Grotte de Niauxhttp://mountainsrivers.com/2014/02/23/the-ice-age-paintings-of-the-grotte-de-niaux/, Accessed Aug 23, 2014

4 Figure 4. Mountains and Rivers, Feb 23, 2014, The Ice age paintings of Grotte de Niauxhttp://mountainsrivers.com/2014/02/23/the-ice-age-paintings-of-the-grotte-de-niaux/, Accessed Aug 23, 2014

5. Figure 5. Panoramio,August 2010, Grotte de Niauxhttp://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=2957&with_photo_id=40765892&order=date_desc&user=1261357, Accessed Aug 23, 2014

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