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They were too busy trying to stay alive to create art.

This period used to end 2.5 million years ago when humans first started making tools, but geologists extended it to 1.6 million BCE, trapping the early Lower Paleolithic period in it.

• Introduction • Types • Characteristics • Dating & Chronology • Prehistoric Culture • Human Evolution: From Axes to Art • Paleolithic Period • Lower Paleolithic (c.2.5 million - 200,000 BCE) • Middle Paleolithic (c.200,000 - 40,000 BCE) • Upper Paleolithic (c.40,000-10,000 BCE) • Mesolithic Culture - 10,000 - 4,000 BCE - Northern and Western Europe - 10,000 - 7,000 BCE - Southeast Europe - 10,000 - 8,000 BCE - Middle East and Rest of World • Neolithic Culture - 4,000 - 2,000 BCE: Northern and Western Europe - 7,000 - 2,000 BCE: Southeast Europe - 8,000 - 2,000 BCE: Middle East & Rest of World • Bronze Age Art (In Europe, 3000-1200 BCE) • Iron Age Art (In Europe, 1500-200 BCE)Types Archeologists have identified 4 basic types of Stone Age art, as follows: petroglyphs (cupules, rock carvings and engravings); pictographs (pictorial imagery, ideomorphs, ideograms or symbols), a category that includes cave painting and drawing; and prehistoric sculpture (including small totemic statuettes known as Venus Figurines, various forms of zoomorphic and therianthropic ivory carving, and relief sculptures); and megalithic art (petroforms or any other works associated with arrangements of stones).

Artworks that are applied to an immoveable rock surface are classified as parietal art; works that are portable are classified as mobiliary art.

Characteristics The earliest forms of prehistoric art are extremely primitive.

It is divided into 4 overlapping periods: the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), the Neolithic (New Stone Age), the Bronze Age and Iron Age.

The early sculptures known as the Venuses of Tan-Tan and Berekhat Ram, are such crude representations of humanoid shapes that some experts doubt whether they are works of art at all.

It is not until the Upper Paleolithic (from roughly 40,000 BCE onwards) that anatomically modern man produces recognizable carvings and pictures.

(Animal drawings using regular side-profiles, for instance, are typically older than those using three-quarter profiles.) For a chronological list of dates and events associated with Stone Age culture, see: Prehistoric Art Timeline.

(c.5,300,000 BCE) This epoch begins roughly with the emergence of upright early hominids.

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