Prehistoric cave painting is a wonder to modern people. It appears that art is not only the product of human civilization. Great painter Pablo Picasso famously exclaimed – “after Altamira, all is decadence” after visiting the Altamira cave paintings in northern Spain. Well, he wasn’t kidding. Some of the cave paintings show clever skill and mastery.
It is not sure why the caveman painted on the cave’s wall. Was it just out of necessity or a tendency of creating something beautiful or was it an early form of religion? But these paintings show the level of cave man’s intelligence. We think it is quite intriguing to know some of the amazing prehistoric painting.
Amazing Prehistoric Cave Paintings:
10. Magura Cave
One of the largest caves in Bulgaria, the Magura Cave is situated in the northwest part of the country. This is one of the important caves for the cave paintings decorated on its wall. More than 700 paintings have been discovered on the walls.
These paintings are dating from the late Neolithic, Epipaleolithic and early Bronze Age. Most of the paintings represent hunting and dancing people as well as a large variety of animals.
9. Cueva de las Manos
Cueva de las Manos is a series of a cave situated in an isolated area in the Patagonian landscape of southern Argentina. The cave’s name ‘Cave of the hands‘ (in Spanish Cueva de las Manos) for its mysterious painting of human hands on the walls.
The painting in the cave dates from 13,000 to 9,000 years ago. Most of the hands are left hand. Besides the painting of hands, other artworks are also found animals and hunting scenes.
Bhimbetka, situated in central India, contains over 600 rock shelters decorated with prehistoric cave paintings. The color used in painting is mainly red and white with an occasional use of green and yellow.
The cave painters usually depicted social life, different animals they used to hunt. The oldest paintings are about to be 12,000 years old.
7. Serra da Capivara
The oldest paintings are created about 25,000 years ago. However, this is disputed by several geneticists as this is contradictory to the currently accepted date of human settlement in the Americas.
6. Laas Gaal
Laas Gaal, a series of caves and rock shelters in northwestern Somalia, is famous for its rock art. These caves contain some of the earliest known cave paintings.
The paintings were created somewhere between 11,000 and 5,000 years. Among these paintings, cows in ceremonial robes accompanied by humans are quite mentionable. The paintings are excellently preserved.
5. Tadrart Acacus
Tadrart Acacus Mountain in the Sahara desert of western Libya is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its important prehistoric cave painting. The paintings dated back from 12,000 BC to 100 AD.
The paintings are also a document of changing the environment of the Sahara desert. From this painting, we know that Sahara used to have a much-wet climate. The paintings depict mainly animal and daily social life.
4. Chauvet Cave
Some of the earliest known prehistoric cave paintings are found in the Chauvet Cave in southern France. The oldest paintings in the cave may be up to 32,000 years old. It was discovered in 1994 by Jean-Marie Chauvet and his team of speleologists and named after him.
These paintings depict images of animals such as the ibex, mammoth, horses, lions, bears, lions, and rhinos. For its antiquity, it gained the status of World Heritage.
3. Kakadu Rock Paintings
Kakadu National Park, situated in the Northern Territory of Australia contains one of the greatest concentrations of Indigenous art sites in Australia. About 5000 art sites have been discovered in Kakadu.
The native paintings are estimated to range in age from 20,000 years to the recent present. It is the finest examples of “X-ray art” in the world.
2. Altamira Cave
The Altamira Cave in northern Spain was the first cave in which prehistoric paintings were discovered. The paintings were so rich in quality that scientist speculates its authenticity. Pablo Picasso, the great Spanish painter was utterly surprised after visiting Altamira cave.
Researchers using uranium-thorium dating discovered that the paintings were completed over a period of up to 20,000 years. The paintings depict the charcoal and ochre images of horses, bison and handprints.
1. Lascaux Paintings
Well known as “the prehistoric Sistine Chapel”, the Lascaux Caves are a cave series located in southwestern France decorated with some of the most impressive and famous cave paintings. It contains about 2000 images and estimated to be 17,000 years old. Most of the major images have been painted onto the walls using mineral pigments.
Many paintings are too faint to detect. The cave painters are supposed very skillful in their work. The most famous part of the cave is the Great Hall of the Bulls where bulls, equines, and stags are portrayed.