Art Before the Written Word covers the largest span of time in Art: A Brief History. As the book suggests, we have only a tantalizing sample of the works that must have been produced during the world-wide "period" of art history. The chapter provides some wonderful examples of prehistoric art, intriguing glimpses into theories of how and why these works came into being, and cautionary notes on jumping to conclusions without sound evidence. The chapter is a wise and appetite-whetting introduction to the subject.
In this chapter, you will:
- Gain familiarity with the general flow of time involved in this vast subject
- Become comfortable with the divisions that historians have given us for the major divisions of the prehistoric period
- Appreciate the subtlety of expression achieved by artists working with primitive tools and techniques
- Appreciate the scale at which people were able to work without aid of modern construction tools
- Grasp the fundamental evidence of a long tradition of human problem solving
- Gain an understanding of the changes in style that accompany the transition from Paleolithic to Neolithic human history