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The Unwritten History of Cave Paintings Essay

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Religious stories and scientific theories have tried for thousands of years to accurately date the formation of man. However, in the 1860s, a new art was discovered that changed the view of human creation forever. This new insight was cave painting. Cave painting is a form of prehistoric art that dates back hundreds of thousands of years. Analysts are unable to specify the reasoning behind these paintings of objects on cave walls, but many theories have been formulated to surmise the rational behind the art. Questions arise like, “why did man find a need to paint the walls of caves” and is this part of the foundation of the origin of human life as we know it? (Beacon) The ecumenical belief is rooted at history, cave paintings are man’s unwritten story of evolution.
In the Upper Paleolithic period, from 40000 B.C. to 10000 B.C., paintings were created in over 300 caves across the globe. “There are two types of cave art: petroglyphs, which are pictures carved in stone and pictographs, which are pictures painted on stone” (Cave Painting). The art is usually found in hidden caves that are difficult to locate. For this reason, scientists have taken great interest in discovering why man wished to go to such extremes to produce the artistry. The graphics include mainly animals, geometric figures, and signs but rarely depict any relevance to humans. The visual communication gives valuable clues to the culture and beliefs of that era. The degree of preciseness of the images, being at such a high level, suggests that the art was not merely decorations that covered the bare surfaces of the caves, but were created for purpose. “The tonal qualities, and the ingenious use of surfaces in the rock, suggest depth and even a kin...


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... However which way you interpret it, it still provides us with one thing: history. It has taught us the lives of our ancestry and the society in which they survived. The evolution from that era to today is astonishing. We see it simply in the development from our society daily. Their ideas combined with that overtime have created a new perspective for us about our own history. And before we can learn the history of other things, we must learn about ourselves first. Even through interpretation, we learned immensely from the simple paintings and carvings on a cave wall. It will continue to teach us generation after generation. But in the end, the controversies shouldn’t arise from the ambiguous paintings. If interpretation is all we have to go by, then that is what we do. And isn’t that what all history is? An interpretation of facts versus opinion.




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