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Paleolithic Society

Since the early discoveries of prehistoric art in the mid-19th century, scholars and archaeologists have sought to determine the functions and the significance of art in Paleolithic society. The uncovering of artistic images in caves and grottoes, along with figurines of various shapes and sizes, provides clues to the lives, culture, language and myths of prehistoric people. The emergence of the aesthetic perception of the prehistoric people from a strictly utilitarian lifestyle also offers evidence of how the human brain has developed over the centuries.

In this paper, the depictions of women in prehistoric art will be used to determine the traditions and lifestyles of prehistoric people in Paleolithic society. Although many discoveries of prehistoric art have been made, the difficulties in the analysis of the depictions of the images and thus the multiple interpretations of the same piece of artwork increase the challenge of providing definitive answers to the lives of prehistoric people. Nonetheless, the examination of the speculations raised by scholars, researchers and archaeologists in this paper offers a rich and complex source of information for further exploration.

II. Different Types of Art and the Depictions of Women

Prehistoric art can be primarily divided into two different types:

A. Removables: Figurines or other three-dimensional objects that were carved out of soft stone or parts of animals such as antlers and a mammoth's tusk (SAPAR 1).

One of the earliest discoveries of prehistoric art are the Paleolithic figurines, hailed as the "Venuses." Spread across Southern France to Siberia, most of the figurines were dated from 23,000 to 21,000 BCE. Although some of the women shared similar characteristics such as the disproportionately large breasts and hips, they also had distinguishing features. While some of the figurines were clothed, others were naked. Although many of the figurines were small, they ra...

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Paleolithic Society. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 05:48, February 20, 2017, from