From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Cave or Rock Paintings are paintings on cave or rock walls and ceilings, usually dating to prehistoric times. The earliest known rock paintings are dated to the Upper Paleolithic, 40,000 years ago, while the earliest European cave paintings date to 32,000 years ago. The purpose of the cave paintings is not known, and may never be. The evidence suggests that they weren't merely decorations of living areas, since the caves in which they've been found don't have signs of ongoing habitation. Also, they are often in areas of caves that aren't easily accessed. Some theories hold that they may have been a way of transmitting information, while other theories ascribe them a religious or ceremonial purpose.
A famous cave painting is the The Scene of the Dead Man in Lascaux.
- Rock art
- Venus figurines
- Parietal art
- Prehistoric art
- Upper Paleolithic art
- Sympathetic magic
- Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for Cave of the Hands) in Argentina
- Lascaux; or, the Birth of Art, the Prehistoric Paintings, Austryn Wainhouse, 1955, Lausanne: Skira.