Dating prehistoric pottery

The later Gravettian and Magdalenian cultures gave birth to even more sophisticated versions of prehistoric art, notably the polychrome Dappled Horses of Pech-Merle and the sensational cave paintings at Lascaux and Altamira.Dating and Chronology of Prehistoric Art A number of highly sophisticated techniques - such as radiometric testing, Uranium/Thorium dating and thermoluminescence - are now available to help establish the date of ancient artifacts from the Paleolithic era and later.The United States was more or less divided into six physiographic areas: The Great Plains of the Midwest The Mississippi River lands The arid Southwest The West Coast seaside The colder Northeast The warmer Southeast As you can see North America provided a wide range of territories for these early people, from cold to subtropical climates.The Indians eventually migrated into these different regions and from the beginning made pottery.However, dating of ancient art is not an exact science, and results are often dependent on tests performed on the 'layer' of earth and debris in which the artifact was lying, or - in the case of rock engraving - an analysis of the content and style of the markings.

• Introduction • Types • Characteristics • Dating & Chronology • Prehistoric Culture • Human Evolution: From Axes to Art • Paleolithic Period • Lower Paleolithic (c.2.5 million - 200,000 BCE) • Middle Paleolithic (c.200,000 - 40,000 BCE) • Upper Paleolithic (c.40,000-10,000 BCE) • Mesolithic Culture - 10,000 - 4,000 BCE - Northern and Western Europe - 10,000 - 7,000 BCE - Southeast Europe - 10,000 - 8,000 BCE - Middle East and Rest of World • Neolithic Culture - 4,000 - 2,000 BCE: Northern and Western Europe - 7,000 - 2,000 BCE: Southeast Europe - 8,000 - 2,000 BCE: Middle East & Rest of World • Bronze Age Art (In Europe, 3000-1200 BCE) • Iron Age Art (In Europe, 1500-200 BCE)Types Archeologists have identified 4 basic types of Stone Age art, as follows: petroglyphs (cupules, rock carvings and engravings); pictographs (pictorial imagery, ideomorphs, ideograms or symbols), a category that includes cave painting and drawing; and prehistoric sculpture (including small totemic statuettes known as Venus Figurines, various forms of zoomorphic and therianthropic ivory carving, and relief sculptures); and megalithic art (petroforms or any other works associated with arrangements of stones).For details of the history, styles and famous sculptors involved in Greek statues, reliefs etc, see: Archaic Style Daedalic Style Early Classical Period High Classical Period Late Classical Period Hellenistic Period Hellenistic Statues/Reliefs Ceramic craftwork first appeared in the Aegean during the era of Neolithic art (c.7,000 - 3,500 BCE). However, during the Middle Geometric period (c.850-770 BCE), figures emerged, as vases and other pots began to be decorated with bands of animals (eg. These figural motifs were applied to reflect the status and wealth of pot-owners.It appeared in Sumer at the same time, but Sumerian society advanced more quickly than that of Aegean countries: as a result, Mesopotamian art became the leading producer of fine pottery. At the same time, the patterns became more complex and extended to all areas of the vessel.Potters produced a wide range of ancient pottery in all shapes and sizes, and decorated it with abstract, historical and mythological designs, in a variety of styles which developed throughout the period 3,000 - 300 BCE. Vases were often made according to a strict system of proportions. the amphora [c.750 BCE] in the the Athens National Museum), the height is exactly twice the width, and the neck is exactly half the height.(See: Ceramic Art History & Types.)The most important styles included: geometric, black-figure, red-figure and white ground. In addition, the choice of which decorative patterns go where was also carefully conceived, as partical designs help emphasise specific portions of the vessel and articulate its shape.Fine vessels with incised and stamped decoration were also made. C., wheelmade pottery was being imported from the Roman world and finer 'Belgic-type' vessels were being produced in East Anglia.

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