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Paleolithic/ Neolithic - Prehistoric Western Europe(1)

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Laura McPherson

on 16 February 2017

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Transcript of Paleolithic/ Neolithic - Prehistoric Western Europe(1)

Catal Huyuk
Chapter 1
Gallery grave- Giants Grave
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Cave of Lascaux
An open excavation
Chapter 1
Looking into a house with activities on the roof
Chapter 1
Structure of homes-Middens
Chapter 1
Catal Huyuk: A Neolithic Town
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Corbelled roof
Roof Box
Dolmens: Celtic meaning” table”
Why did Neolithic people devote themselves so much to building tombs?
Anthropologists surmise that their dreams about the departed may have led to a belief in their continuing existence in a material form. In the real life , shelter was a prime need.
So in death, it was natural to believe that the dead needed it too.

The reason they built these dolmens was that they were making an artificial cave in an artificial mountain.

Habits of the Human mind?
Chapter 1
Cave Art
Caves at Lascaux, France
Chapter 1
Lascaux , France (map)
Where is Malta?
Chapter 1
Men- stone

Hir- long
Cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars

The Shaft of the Dead Man is a 16 foot shaft that contained a stone lamp and spear. It is unusual because it seems to tell a story and is different from the other paintings in the cave.
Map of the cave
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
Covered with soil from early times
Rediscovered in the 19th century

Temple builders who grew cereals and raised domestic livestock

4,000 to 2,500 BC
Prehistoric temples
Chapter 1
What do you notice about the ruins?
Earliest huts
Mammoth bones
Animal skins
Settlements of up to 10 of these huts
Earliest settlements of the Paleolithic- 16,000-10,000 BC
Chapter 1
Paleolithic-Old stone age

Mesolithic- Middle stone age

Neolithic- New stone age
The Prehistoric Era is broken down into Three sub eras:
Chapter 1
In the British Isles , they were called barrows.
Dolmen ( megalithic construction)
Chapter 1
Around 8,000 BC, the creators of Gobekli turned on their achievement and entombed their glorious temple under thousands of tons of earth, creating the artificial hills on which that Kurdish shepherd walked in 1994.
Found in 1994
the tallest are 18 feet in height
Klaus Schmidt- archeologist
Chapter 1
Marble Ruins
Mother Goddess

Neolithic homes
Chapter 1
Passage grave- Newgrange
Neolithic Period- New Stone Age
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
This is the oldest known example of monumental architecture;
the first structure human beings put together that was bigger and more complicated than a hut.
When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world.
Nomadic Bands of People
Göbekli Tepe
(pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh)
16-ton stones
There may be as many as 12 of these or even more

Top was covered with animal hides suspended from timber poles

The priest entered the temple and proceeded through a tall and narrow corridor to the smaller, enclosed apses, initial feelings of expansiveness and awe- change to feelings of enclosure and intimacy.

No doubt such a progression of feelings played an important part in the emotional experience of the priests who worshiped here.
More female figurines then male

Normally the mother goddess in the act of giving birth( Venus of Willendorf)
from Austria-22,000-21,000 years old

Male figurines had bow and arrows
Passage grave
Megalithic architecture
Bison on the walls of Altimira, Spain

Owl at Chauvet, France
Why did architecture begin?
Chapter 1
Catal Huyuk

11,000 BC
Gobleki Tepe-Turkey
Paleolithic peoples made stone tools, used fire, and
moved when the animals did,used skins for clothing because they were waterproof, and didn't build permanent dwellings.
Upper Paleolithic
16,000 BC
On Sept 12, 1940, 3 boys found the cave.

These images have been dated
to 15,000 bc.
The artists who painted these caves, painted them truthfully as they saw them in life and death, of fertility and extinction.
The paintings covey to us a striking sense of the habits of the animals.
One school of thought discusses the possibility that the caves are sacred repositories of the animal spirit and the hunter's guarantee of participating in the special power of the animal.
Humans began to farm, domesticate animals ,Make pottery and started weaving cloth.
Two basic human drives: aggression and religion which dictated the forms of the first permanent architecture.
Paleolithic- Old Stone Age
1,500,000 to 8,000 BC (Note: This date changes
with every passing year and new discoveries)
Altimira, Spain

The groups of animals portrayed, particularly those on the walls, are of bison, deer, wild boar, and other combinations which do not normally aggregate in nature.

The paintings at Altamira primarily focus on bison.The ceiling painting is of 15 large bison with a few interspersed animals including a horse.
25,000 and 35,000 years old
The images at Altamira were both painted and engraved.
The paints used for these creations were derived from natural earth pigments like ochre and zinc oxides.
Lascaux Cave, France
One advanced technical development at Altamira is that many of the animals are painted on natural protrusions from the rock face; most samples of cave painting ignore the natural character of the rock concentrating on only one dimension. These look 2-3 dimensional.

The Painted Gallery, which is about thirty meters long, is a continuation of this hall.

A second, lower, gallery, the Lateral Passage, opens off the aisle to the right of Great Hall of the Bulls. It connects the Chamber of Engravings with the Main Gallery and, at its extremity, with the Chamber of Felines.
The first twenty meters inside the cave slopes steeply down to the first hall in the network, the Great Hall of the Bulls.
“The first sight of those paintings was simply unbelievable,” Morse said.
“I was amazed at how the colors held up after thousands and thousands of years — like they were just painted the day before. Most people don’t realize how huge some of the paintings are. There are pictures of animals there that are ten, fifteen feet long, and more.”

Read more: http://life.time.com/culture/inside-lascaux-rare-photos/#ixzz2BMJBfNEV
form circular or oval shapes ranging from 30 to 100 feet in diameter
each pillar standing an arm span or more apart connected to the next by a stone wall;
two larger pillars stand within the center.

these structures originally supported domed roofs;
their semi-sunken pillars are load bearing and, left uncovered, limestone would too easily have been damaged from rain and wind.
Images reminded participants of the stories and myths of the time, as a totem might, or as a statue does in a modern church or temple.
Approximately 11,500 years ago, towards the end of the last Ice Age as the weather became warmer, some of our early ancestors in the northern region of what we now know as the Fertile Crescent began to move their places of religious ritual beyond the cave and rock walls.

Göbekli Tepe is the first evidence to date of this transition.
The assemblage was built some 11,500 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Used stone: Architectural Features
Used trefoil –(cloverleaf) floor plan-
incomplete dome
horizontal arch
post and lintel trilithon

Elaborate curved temples with hemispheric chambers or apses that branched off from a narrow entrance path.
Their typical architectural elements include the incomplete dome and the horizontal arch, or post-and-lintel trilithon.
Although temples are large, the interior chambers do not have enough room to hold more than a few people at a time.

The Grand Menhir Briswild have been the largest standing stone in the region, weighing 280 tons and 60 feet long.
Malta 4,000-2,500 BC
Images on this ceiling seem to shift and move.

Altimira Cave is one of 17 interrelated caves of Northern Spain. They were discovered in 1880.
by using only line, color, shading and contour, the prehistoric painters communicate with others
Expresses health
and fertility
which could ensure
the ability to
produce strong
children- thus guaranteeing the survival of the clan
Over 100 lamps have been found at Lascaux - worked in flickering light from burning animal fat
Catal Huyuk, Turkey
(8000-5500 BC),
Catal Huyuk pushes back the date of the earliest civilizations some 4000 yrs. as it dates begin around 8000BC to 6500 B.C.
Caves at
*Lascaux, France &
*Altimira, Spain
35,000 to 20,000 BC
Cave Painting
Homo sapiens sapiens appeared around 120,000 - 100,000 year ago. Current evidence suggests that a vast movement of peoples spread across Asia, Africa, and into Europe around 100.000 to 35,000 year ago.
The Altamira cave is
(890 feet) long.
excavations and geo magnetic results revealed that there are at least 20 installations,which in archeological terms can be called a temple.

the pattern principle seems to be that there are two huge monumental pillars in the center of each installation, surrounded by enclosures and walls, featuring more pillars in those set-ups
All pillars are T-shaped with heights changing from 3 to 6 meters.

Archeologists interpret those T-shapes as stylized human beings, mainly because of the depiction of human extremities that appear on some of the pillars.

What also appears on these mystical rock statues, are carvings of animals as well as abstract symbols, sometimes picturing a combination of scenes.
Catal Huyuk, in Anatolia ( Turkey), is the best example of an early neolithic town where the transition to a fully settled existence has been satisfactorily achieved.
Post and Lintel
We know:
They sprinkled red ocher on their dead to represent blood
Placed personal adornment on bodies and buried with them
Bodies arranged in a fetal position -often oriented to the sun possibly meaning rebirth and a belief in the afterlife
Some of the earliest examples of
art date to 35,000 years ago.

People didn't live in one place. They
were hunters and gatherers, and they
moved with the herds of animals.

Today, archeologists believe that
these caves are a repository of
these hunts and sacred beliefs.
They create the illusion of motion and capture the essence of a certain species by slightly exaggerating characteristic features.
They imitated nature and by doing this it fulfilled a deep social, psychological , and symbolic need.

Architectural Element

It is believed that the priests and priestesses carried out rites inside the temples, and the public was not invited, [Daniel Cilia, 2004], perhaps similar to the 'restricted' experience of the Paleolithic caves of Europe, such as Chauvet.
The basic temple plan consists of a variable number of hemispheric chambers, or apses, branching off from a narrow entrance path.

The apses are incomplete domes, built of ingeniously corbelled stone, broad at the base and curving in towards the top.

However, a full dome could not be constructed using this technique; after the walls had been built up, the apse was roofed in animal hides which were suspended from timber poles. Pole-and-hide construction was also used for the doors.
Built over 5,000 years ago

Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
Above the entrance to the passage at Newgrange there is a opening called a roof-box.

This baffling roof-box held a great surprise for those who unearthed it.

Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around December 21, the winter solstice.

At dawn, from December 19th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear of the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17 minutes, beginning around 9am.
Megalithic art
Characteristics of the Paleolithic Age
Why would bison be a subject to paint?
The first stone tools were used to meet people's three basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing.
These were difficult times; people had to cooperate in small groups to make clothing and shelter.
To hunt for food, early humans formed spears,
Passage Grave
Passage Grave
Passage Grave
A passage grave or passage tomb consists of a narrow passage made of large stones and one or multiple burial chambers covered in earth or stone.
The building of passage tombs was normally carried out with megaliths and smaller stones; they usually date from the Neolithic Age.
A Gallery grave is a form of Megalithic tomb where there is no size difference between the burial chamber itself and the entrance passage.
Two parallel walls of stone slabs were erected to form a corridor and covered with a line of capstones.
The rectangular tomb was covered with a barrow or a cairn.

In the "slab type giant's tomb", uncut slabs are buried on end in the ground, and are arranged side-by-side.
There is usually a central stele, which is the largest slab (up to 4 m in height) and has a doorway cut through it.
The room has a characteristic rectangular plan with an apse. An apse is a smaller room at the end.
The burial chamber is usually 5 to 15 meters long and 1 to 2 meters high.
The structures were originally covered by a mound resembling the shape of an overturned ship. Near the entrance an obelisk which symbolizes the gods or ancestors who watched over the dead.

We find Giant's tombs all over Europe.
Amazing megalithic art carved inside and outside the mound at Newgrange.
In fact, what we see at Newgrange, is the Neolithic response to a desire to measure the solar year exactly, and that is exactly what they achieved.
Kerb Stone
Kerb Stones
All the mounds in the Boyne valley have kerb-stones, The Newgrange mound is surrounded by 97 granite 'Kerb-stones', with carvings only visible on a few. It has been pointed out that the stones with the most carvings on are also the most significantly astronomically aligned, leading to suggestions that the carvings have an astronomically significance themselves.
'the oldest free-standing monuments in the world'.
Known as:
Architectural Features
Paleolithic/ Neolithic
Prehistoric Western Europe

To explore the traditions represented by what remains of prehistoric architecture
Investigate how archaeologists have speculated on the cultural meanings of works for which there is no written record to provide historical context
Grasp concepts and vocabulary used to describe and characterize prehistoric architecture


The Paleolithic Age, Greek for "Old Stone"
era of the emergence of modern man
hunter-gatherer species
plentiful sources of animals and plants, man could simply follow the herds and their migratory patterns
Even though they hadn't established society or economy, man in the Paleolithic Age had increasing technology.
Their weapons and tools were made of wood and stone
ability to control fire.
The Paleolithic Age also berthed language
Because of language, stories - or history was passed down from adult to child
Paleolithic art gives the background for the culture of the time
Men hunted, made weaponry and tools, and fought other nomadic bands;
Women gathered, made clothing, and bore children.
Any picture with a red pin, is one that you should be able to identify on an exam.
Write down the 3 Most Important Points you learned today on a notecard
Write down 1 question you would like to pursue further
Lascaux has over 600 paintings and 1,500 engravings.

Horns, eyes, and hooves are shown as seen from the front, yet heads and bodies are rendered in profile in a system known as twisted perspective. Animals seem to be full of life and energy.
Rich in megalithic tombs
500 documented sites
Reverence for ancestors
Means to establish claims to land
Most impressive
passage grave
is at Newgrange, County Meath.
Kerb Stone
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognized to be much more than a passage tomb.
Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
The oldest buildings in Europe are found in Malta - older than the Pyramids of Egypt.

The occupation and settlement of Malta by modern humans began approximately 7,000 years ago, when the first Neolithic Farmers crossed the 50 mile-wide straits that separate the islands from Sicily.

Prior to that, the islands were uninhabited.

We know from physical evidence that worship in the Malta temples included animal sacrifice. Beyond this, little is known about the rites and rituals that took place there.
The paints used for these creations were derived from natural earth pigments like ochre and zinc oxides.
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