The Oldest Art Discoveries
To recognize what the first art discoveries were in the world we first have to understand who first called them art? Was it the people who made the art or historians hundreds of years later who decided to label it art. Art was different thousands of years ago to what it is today, and the artistic methods to produce art have changed drastically? Initially it was thought that art began in Europe but there is a new school of thought that proposes cave art in Indonesia. And artifacts that have been unearthed in Africa challenge even this.
Bhimbetka and Daraki-Chattan Cupules
The oldest piece of art in the world has been identified as the first piece of prehistoric art that has ever been discovered. The two pieces were unearthed in caves in India and have been dated to be around 700,000 BC. This Madhya Pradesh region of India is highly religious, and experts believe there may be many other artifacts such as these still to be discovered.
Venus of Berekhat Ram
Another extremely old piece of prehistoric art is the Venus of Berekkhat Ram. There is a lot of controversy that surround this piece of art as art historians cannot quite agree if The Ram was formed by human hands or it was because of natural rock erosion. The Ram was discovered in the Golan Heights by a professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the experts who believe that it was man made suggest that it could have been by Homo Erectus.
Blombos Cave Engravings
The Blombos Cave Engravings are reputed to be the oldest pieces of sub-Saharan art ever discovered. The work consists of two pieces of colorful red rock that have geometrical signs etched into them. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the patterns and forms of the drawings but there are also a series of beads which are actually Nassarius Kraussianus shells. This piece of art demonstrates that pre-humans had the capacity of understanding symbols.
Diepkloof Eggshell Engravings
Traveling down to the Western Cape of South Africa is our fourth piece of ancient art. The engravings are dated to be around sixty thousand BC. And were discovered in the Diepkloof Rock Shelter when the highly decorated ostrich eggshell was unearthed. The techniques used included geometric designs as well as crosshatching which makes the piece so interesting.
La Ferrassie Cave Petroglyphs
Our final piece in our oldest art discoveries of the world are the La Ferrassie Cave Petroglyphs which have been dated to around 60,000 BC. Once thought as the oldest cave paintings in the world this series of etchings in southern France have subsequently been usurped. However, they are an important discovery as they display cupule, which is a very primitive form of rock art that was fashionable around the Stone Age. All these incredible works of art built the foundation for many different forms of art through the ages.