ART AND COMMUNICATION – Various expressions of arts have come down to us from hunting gathering societies. These are in the form of engravings, markings, colouring of bones, some polishing, or holes in bones etc. from the middle Palaeolithic period. It is only with upper Palaeolithic period that we get a lot of evidence in the form of objects, artefacts, statues and cave or rock paintings. Most of representations of arts belong to the later phase of the upper Palaeolithic period.

The most elaborate surviving art is in the form of rock or cave art. This is available in the form of drawings made on walls, ceiling or floor of caves. The engravings and colours have been used to draw them. The drawings mainly pertain to animal figures representing mammoths, deer, fishes, birds etc. Human figures are less frequently drawn. Many figures are drawn where different parts of different animals have been shown in one imaginary animal. Hunting scenes with weapons in the hands of hunters are also drawn. The most remarkable find of cave paintings is in Spain in the Altamira caves. Altamira meaning ‘high look out’ has an elaborate cave system. The paintings done on the ceiling had bison, horses, deer, wolves and boars. These are life sise and brown, yellow, red and black colours were used. These have been dated between 34000 and 12000 years. In Las Caux cave in France similar paintings were found, estimated to be around 15 – 14000 years old. The figures here are not merely portraits of animals but appear full of action, movement and life. Bulls, horses, stags, wild goats, bison, cows even lion are represented. Arrows or spears stuck in animals, even a dead man and a few geometrical designs are shown. In Africa and Asia a number of such caves have been found. In all more than 200 decorated caves of varying sises with some unique characters are known.

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