European, Saharan and Southern African rock art

Essay by stef87A-, April 2007

download word file, 13 pages 5.0

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2Introduction �

2European Rock Art �

2Location �

3Period and environment �

3Society �

4Belief System �

5Communication Functions �

6Examples of Symbolization �

7Examples of Representation �

9San Rock Art �

9Location �

9Period �

10Environment �

10Society �

11Belief System �

12Communication Functions �

13Examples of Symbolization �

13Examples of Representation �

14Saharan Rock Art �

14Location �

15Period �

15Environment �

16Society �

17Belief System �

17Communication Functions �

18Examples of Symbolization �

19Examples of Representation �

20Relationship to Graphic Design �

21Resources �



What separates us as humans from animals is our unquenched desire to explore: to learn new things and pass them on in the aid of a better existence for the generations to come.

From as distant as one hundred thousand years ago, across Africa and Central Europe different civilizations have left their marks as a symbol of their existence. Whether for religious purposes, informative, or purely decorational, these marks have survived into the modern world as we know it and inspired thousands into a quest for their meaning and purpose.

I will now take a closer look at the different kinds of rock art found in Africa and Europe and bring you closer to the Graphic Designers of the Stone Age.

European Rock Art


40,000 years ago, in the Paleolithic period, Europe was a cold and inhospitable place. It therefore stands to reason that without caves and adequate shelter, there could be no human presence. Although many decorated objects such as painted stone slabs and even reindeer antlers with engravings have been found almost throughout Europe, cave and rock art is mainly limited to the south of France, the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, and on a smaller scale, Italy, where there was an abundance of shelter...