The first artistic manifestations of which there is some record were made in stone. Thus, this practice is known as rock art. This term comes from the Latin rupes, which means stone or rock. In other words, the concept of rock art refers to any artistic creation made on stones. Rock Art
The rock art context and the first artistic creations
This way of understanding art spanned three periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic. Chronologically, the Paleolithic spans two million years before our era to 1000 BC, the Mesolithic was a transition period between 10000 and 7000 BC, and the Neolithic took place during the next 3000 years. During this long period, humans were nomadic and groups of individuals depended on hunting and gathering. From the Mesolithic, agriculture began to develop and the most sophisticated tools appeared.
The Venus of Willendorf is dated to the year 20,000 BC It is a small stone figurine in which a woman appears with her wide hips and large breasts, in order to symbolize fertility. The characteristics of this figure suggest that prehistoric man had a pragmatic dimension to art, the representation of fertility was a way of expressing the desire for greater offspring. In the cave of Lascaux, France, depictions painted in charcoal and pigments of bulls, bison and human figures can be found , with hunting utensils and interpreting an account of the scenes of everyday life. These examples of rock art illustrate the two main concepts of this art: the imaginary and the real.
Pre-Columbian rock art on the American continent
The first manifestations of pre-Columbian rock art date back more than 10,000 years and this way of understanding art disappeared with the arrival of Europeans in America.
The main creations are graphic images, cave paintings and geoglyphs. The shapes and figures that appear on the rocks should not be understood as decorative drawings, but rather as a way of representing the communication of pre-Columbian culture . The rocks with paintings are still an enigma, as their true meaning is unknown. However, experts believe that magical stories, popular myths and aspects of the collective culture of indigenous peoples were probably told in these rocks .