Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Techniques of Paleolithic Art

  • Carole Fritz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1262

Brief Definition of the Topic

Techniques used by Upper Paleolithic groups to produce their graphic works of art provide almost inexhaustible sources on “ways of doing.” They also enable us to reflect on the levels of practice of “artists,” on the internal organization of societies, and on the implication of the individuals in the procurement of pigments, tools, and mediums.

In studying the techniques of Paleolithic artists, we seek to identify the set of processes of formal construction from the level of a single trace, to their combination into the form of a drawing all the way to the use of the graphic space whether it be on a restricted medium like an object or on a wall.

The study of techniques allows for the understanding of the artists’ gestures and the mediums used in the different graphic works.

The mediums of prehistoric representations are multiple and varied from objects of portable art (including bone, stone tablet, ivory, antler) to cave walls, shelters under rock, and...

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Further Reading

  1. Aujoulat, N. 2004. Lascaux, le geste, l'espace et le temps. Paris: Le Seuil.Google Scholar
  2. Bégouën, R., C. Fritz, G. Tosello, J. Clottes, A. Pastoors & F. Faist, et al. 2009. Le sanctuaire secret des Bisons. Il y a 14000 ans, dans la caverne du Tuc d'Audoubert. Paris: Ed. d'art Somogy et Assoc. L. Bégouën.Google Scholar
  3. Fritz, C. 1999. La gravure dans l'art mobilier magdalénien. Du geste à la représentation (Documents d'Archéologie Française (D.A.F.) 75). Paris: édition de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme.Google Scholar
  4. Fritz, C. & G. Tosello. 2007a. The hidden meaning of forms: methods of recording Paleolithic parietal art. Journal of Archaeology Method and Theory 14 (1): 48-80.Google Scholar
  5. - 2007b. Le secteur de la Salle Hillaire et de la Salle du Crâne: diversité, styles et datations de l'art paléolithique dans la grotte Chauvet, in N. Rouquerol & H. Floss (dir.) Les chemins de l'art aurignacien en Europe (cahier 4; Actes du colloque international d'Aurignac 2005): 393-408. Aurignac: éditions Musée-Forum d'Aurignac.Google Scholar
  6. Lorblanchet, M. 2010. Art pariétal – Grottes ornées en Quercy. Rodez: Editions du Rouergue.Google Scholar
  7. Rivero, O. 2007. Aproximación al estudio de las cadenas operativas del grabado sobre soporte pétreo: Análisis tecnológico de una representación de équido del Magdaleniense Medio de la cueva de Las Caldas (Asturias, España). Zephyrus LX: 97-111.Google Scholar
  8. Tosello, G. 2003. Pierres gravées du Périgord magdalénien: art, symboles, territoires (36e supplément à Gallia Préhistoire). Paris: CNRS éditions.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRSUniversité de Toulouse le Mirail, TRACES, CREAP CartailhacToulouseFrance