Prehistoric Decorative Arts

Let’s face it. Back in prehistoric time, the ever wandering lifestyle of its people meant you carried little and left what you could not carry behind. First and foremost came the necessary furniture pieces: such as stools for seating and storage for food and clothing. Once the basics were handled, people were able to “decorate” their homes. In other terms they made objects of recreation which served a purpose.

#1: The Woman of Willendorf is one of the most well-known pieces of prehistoric decorative art. It was carved from limestone as a fertility statue between 30,000-25000 BC. The breasts, stomach, pubic area, and thighs are highly exaggerated to emphasize the importance of birth among the nomadic society. The sculpture was made small enough to carry with the family and served ceremonial purpose.











#2: Another common find from the prehistoric time are cave paintings. Made by rubbing stone or charcoal, spitting blood, or droppings- the majority of these artworks have survived the test of time. Take the Chauvet Cave discovered in 1994 in the Ardeche Valley in Southern France. The cave contains hundreds of paintings of animals and people depicted in ceremonial scenes for worship.







#3: Pottery was also a staple item to carry around for water, food, and just pure spiritual meaning. Most pots were constructed from clay or gourds or carved from wood. They also chose to make baskets for the same purposes. Those were made from gathering sticks and reeds then weaving them together. The first photo below is of a clay pot that was reconstructed and the second photo shows three early woven baskets.

















Thanks for reading,


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