List of Stone Age art

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This Bradshaw rock painting from Australia shows tasseled costumed figures in various poses or actions.

This list presents a small selection of the work of artists who lived during the time that writing hadn't as yet been invented and popularized in human societies. This page contains, by sheer volume of the artwork discovered, a very incomplete list of the paintings, drawings, sculptures, engravings, and other works by the artists who created what we now call Stone Age art. For fuller lists see Art of the Upper Paleolithic, Art of the Middle Paleolithic, and Category:Prehistoric art and its many sub-categories


Bison Licking Insect Bite, in carved antler. In the al Museum of Prehistory, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil
Elaborately decorated stone ball, 3200–2500 BC, National Museums of Scotland [1]
Magdalenian Horse, c. 15,000 BCE, Musée d'Archéologie Nationale, France

Cave paintings and other Rock art

A group of wild or domesticated horses depicted by an unknown artist. (from Chauvet Cave in France)
  • The Petroglyph (incised rock art) article features a list of petroglyph sites
  • Altamira cave (Spain) - in 1879 the first prehistoric paintings and drawings were discovered in this cave, which soon became famous for their depth of color and depictions of animals, hands, and abstract shapes.
  • Bhimbetka rock shelters (India) - the shelters, decorated with art from 30,000 years ago, contain the oldest evidence of artists exhibiting their work on the Indian sub-continent.
  • Bradshaw rock paintings (Australia) - Aboriginal artists painted well over a million paintings in this site in the Kimberley, many of human figures ornamented with accessories such as bags, tassels and headdresses.[6] These artworks are well over 20,000 years old.
  • Cantabria cave (Spain)
  • Çatalhöyük (Turkey) - probably the best preserved large Neolithic site, its artwork includes murals, figurines, and depictions of animals. The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük was found here.
  • Chauvet Cave (France) - some of the earliest cave paintings known, and considered among the most important prehistoric art sites.
  • Chufin cave (Spain) - small cave with engravings, stick figures, and artwork schematically portraying red deer, goats and cattle.
  • Coliboaia cave (Romania) contains the oldest known cave paintings of Central Europe, radiocarbon dated to 32,000 and 35,000 BP, corresponding to the Aurignacian and Gravettian cultures of the Paleolithic period.
  • Cuciulat cave (Romania) features several red paintings of animals, including horses and felines, which are about 12,000 years old. These were the first manifestations of this kind known in Central Europe.
  • Cueva de las Manos (Cave of Hands) (Argentina) - a series of caves exhibiting hundreds of outlines of human hands, hunting scenes, and animals painted 13,000 to 9,000 years ago.
  • Côa Valley (Portugal) - artists engraved thousands of drawings of horses and other animal, human and abstract figures in open-air artwork completed 22,000 to 10,000 years ago.
  • Cosquer Cave (France) - hand stencils from 27,000 years ago, and 19,000-year-old animal drawings that portray bison, ibex, horses, seals and what may be auks and jellyfish, showcase this gallery.
  • Draa River (Morocco)
A 16,000-year-old masterwork from the Lascaux cave in France

Venus figurines

The Venus of Monruz is an 11,000 year-old stylized pendant, 18 mm in height.

See also


  1. "Carved stone ball". National Museums of Scotland. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  2. "Collections", National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil (in French)
  3. Martin Bailey Ice Age Lion Man is world’s earliest figurative sculpture The Art Newspaper, Jan 31, 2013, accessed Feb 01, 2013
  4. British Museum (2011). "British Museum - Horse engraving on bone". Retrieved 14 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. British Museum; Ann Sieveking (1987). A catalogue of palaeolithic art in the British Museum. Published for the Trustees of the British Museum by British Museum Publications. pp. 112–. ISBN 978-0-7141-1376-0. Retrieved 14 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Donaldson, Mike The Gwion or Bradshaw art style of Australia’s Kimberley region is undoubtedly among the earliest rock art in the country –but is it Pleistocene? (free download) L’art pléistocène en Australie (Pré-Actes) IFRAO Congress, September 2010 p. 4.
  7. "U-Series Dating of Paleolithic Art in 11 Caves in Spain" by A.W.G. Pike et al., Science, 15 June 2012: 1462.
  8. "Oldest confirmed cave art is a single red dot" by Michael Marshall, New Scientist, 23 June 2012, pp. 10-11.
  9. Clottes, Jean (2003). Chauvet Cave: The Art of Earliest Times. Paul G. Bahn (translator). University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-758-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Translation of La Grotte Chauvet, l'art des origins, Éditions du Seuil, 2001, p. 214.
  10. Amos, Jonathan (June 14, 2012). "Red dot becomes 'oldest cave art'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 15 June 2012. One motif – a faint red dot – is said to be more than 40,000 years old. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Masters (2009-10-05).
  12. Michel Geneste, Jean (2010). "Earliest Evidence for Ground-Edge Axes: 35,400±410 cal BP from Jawoyn Country, Arnhem Land". Australian Archaeology. 71 (December): 66–69. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Les Combarelles - Grotte - Eyzies-de-Tayac - Périgord - Dordogne" (in French). Hominidé December 2007. Retrieved May 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. South American Handbook. Trade and Travel Publications Limited. 1976.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. David S. Whitley (2001). Handbook of Rock Art Research. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 712–. ISBN 978-0-7425-0256-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Aldenderfer 1998, pp. 56–57.
  17. Inventory number 47 019.
Swimming Reindeer, a 13,000-year-old mammoth-tusk sculpture now residing in the British Museum, depicts a female on the right and a male on the left (move scanning bar to the right).