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Pleistocene Paleoart of Europe

International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO), P.O. Box 216, Caulfield South, VIC 3162, Australia
Arts 2014, 3(2), 245-278;
Received: 22 March 2014 / Revised: 16 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Collection World Rock Art)
PDF [3653 KB, uploaded 6 June 2014]


As in Australia, Pleistocene rock art is relatively abundant in Europe, but it has so far received much more attention than the combined Ice Age paleoart of the rest of the world. Since archaeology initially rejected its authenticity for several decades, the cave art of France and Spain and the portable paleoart from various regions of Europe have been the subjects of thousands of studies. It is shown, however, that much of the published information is unreliable and subjective, and that fundamental trends in the evidence have been misunderstood. In particular, the data implies that the paleoart of the Early Upper Paleolithic, the work of robust humans such as Neanderthals, is considerably more sophisticated and developed that that of more recent times. Thus, the European paleoart demonstrates that the teleological model of cultural “evolution” is false, which is to be expected because evolution is purely dysteleological. This is confirmed by the extensive record of pre-Upper Paleolithic European paleoart, which is comprehensively reviewed in this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: rock art; portable paleoart; Pleistocene; bead; pictogram; petroglyph; Europe rock art; portable paleoart; Pleistocene; bead; pictogram; petroglyph; Europe
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bednarik, R.G. Pleistocene Paleoart of Europe. Arts 2014, 3, 245-278.

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