From stones and bones to metal | charles riggs

Early man's desire to be creative and create art was limited by both the resources around them and most importantly, their ability to learn new methods.  Technology moved much slower in the beginning; far from the speed it moves today.  The art produced by early man gives us an example of how slowly new ideas and technologies came along.  Stones and bones were readily available for early man so that is what they used in art to express themselves; it was about 230,000 years from the oldest pieces of art found until the use of bronze and other metals both art and history in general.  Art's evolution follows along with man's evolution and man's ability to discover new technologies.        

This piece is one of the earliest known pieces of art. The age of this piece puts this at a time when mankind was transforming from Homo Erectus into modern man, Homo Sapiens. It shows that even the most primitive humans had the creativity to create art.
Even though this piece is about 30,000 years old the image of a horse can still be seen. It shows early human's ability to recreate the world around them through art. It may have been a way to communicate or perhaps they were just being creative.
Bone was a useful resource for ancient man; it could be used to make tools, weapons, or as canvas for art as in this piece. It looks as though part of the etching was crossed out; perhaps it was a doodle gone wrong.
One can see much better detail in this stone piece than in the previous pieces. The younger age of this piece plays a part in the ability to see the details more clearly but it also seems the artist's skill had something to do with the detail as well. It seems that people were becoming better artists and using better tools to create the art.
The oldest known mask is impressive in it's detail and frightening in it's appearance. It makes one wonder if the mask was made to be worn, to represent someone, or some other reason. The ability to recreate a human like face is a step forward in the evolution of art.
Stone was still used in the creating of art after the discovery of metals. This mold is an example of how stone carving was still used; in this case it was created to make a mold for metal casting. This allowed the same piece of art to be produced in large quantities.
With the discovery of metallurgy about 9,000 years ago, art had new ways to be created. These figures are believed to be made in molds which shows a more sophisticated approach to art than simply drawing or carving.
This piece shows a level on increasing complexity. The channels and grooves on it are believed to be where gold or other precious metals adorned the statue. That great detail is another added layer to the evolution of man and art.
This bronze tree is multiple pieces that were assembled at the end of production to finish the project. The artist(s) must have used great visualization to plan this piece as separate parts to later become one solid piece. It is also an example of welding multiple pieces of metal together which is not a technique that one would think of as an ancient technique.
Metal was not only used for sculptures but also for jewelry. The discovery of metals opened the door for a new way for the elite of society to show off their status. This ring and bracelet are perfect examples of an ancient status symbol; the practice still exists today.
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