Appearance of Modern Art

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Slide 40 of 109


Sophisticated works of art first appear in the fossil record about 40,00-50,000 years ago.1-4 Paleoanthropologists have referred to this as the "big bang" of artistic expression. The quality of the artistic expression in these ancient works of art is spectacular. For example, in the recently discovered Grotte Chauvet caves, which contain the oldest advanced cave art yet discovered (dated at 32,000 years ago), the quality of the art work is so remarkable that it has demolished all previous chronologies for the development of artistic techniques such as shading and perspective.


References Top of page

  1. Tim Appenzeller. 1998. Art: Evolution or Revolution. Science 282: 1451-1454.

  2. Michael Balter.1999. New Light on the Oldest Art. Science 283: 920-922.Klein, R.G. 1992. Evolutionary Anthropology 1: 5-14.

  3. Balter, M. 1999. Restorers reveal 28,000-year-old artworks. Science 283: 1835.

  4. Pike AWG, Hoffmann DL, García-Diez M, Pettitt PB, Alcolea J, De Balbín R, González-Sainz C, de las Heras C, Lasheras JA, Montes R et al. 2012. U-Series Dating of Paleolithic Art in 11 Caves in Spain. Science 336:1409-1413.

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Last Modified June 21, 2012

 

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