170,000 years of art. In the beginning…

January 14, 2019

170,000 years ago:

humans are wearing clothing by this date.

135,000 (?) – 82,000 years ago:

small perforated seashell beads from Taforalt in Morocco are the earliest evidence of personal adornment found anywhere in the world.

70,000 years ago:

earliest example of abstract art or symbolic art from Blombos Cave, South Africa—stones engraved with grid or cross-hatch patterns.

43,000 years ago:

Oldest-known musical instruments in the world, flutes, made from bird bone and mammoth ivory, found in a cave in southern Germany

40,000 years ago:

oldest known figurative art the zoomorphic Löwenmensch figurine. The Lion-man

35,000 years ago:

oldest known figurative art of a human figure as opposed to a zoomorphic figure (Venus of Hohle Fels).

30,000 years ago:

rock paintings tradition begins in Bhimbetka rock shelters in India, which presently as a collection is the densest known concentration of rock art. In an area about 10 km2, there are about 800 rock shelters of which 500 contain paintings. They also depict earlist evidence of dance.

28,000–24,000 years ago:

oldest known pottery—used to make figurines rather than cooking or storage vessels (Venus of Dolní Věstonice).

11,000 years ago:

Earliest date recorded for construction of temenoi ceremonial structures at Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, as possibly the oldest surviving proto-religious site on Earth.

8,000–5,000 years ago:

development of proto-writing in China, Southeast Europe (Vinca symbols) and West Asia. The earliest form of writing on our planet, called proto-cuneiform, was invented in Mesopotamia during the Late Uruk period, about 5200 [?] Proto-cuneiform consisted of pictographs–simple drawings of the subjects of the documents–and early symbols representing those ideas, drawn or pressed into puffy clay tablets, which were then fired in a hearth or baked in the sun.

Sumerian tablet


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