AR6_SA_U1_L4_VS
Course
Art 6
Lesson
Objective
Semester
A
Unit
1
Lesson
4
The student will learn about the Bhimbetka Petroglyphs.
Visual
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Audio
The oldest known prehistoric art is the
series of Stone Age petroglyphs
discovered during the 1990s.
They were discovered in the Bhimbetka
and Daraki-Chattan rock shelters, two
ancient quartzite caves in India.
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This rock art pre-dates the Lower
Paleolithic era, and must date from at
least 290,000 BCE.
The Bhimbetka cupules are four times
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older than the Blombos Cave art, which
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cal is the next oldest site of Stone Age art.
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The quartzite rock formations at
Bhimbetka number over 700 rock
shelters, over 500 with cave murals and
other forms of Paleoart.
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Archaeological excavations began back
in the early 1970s and nearly a dozen
shelters were investigated.
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Let’s learn a little more about these
Stone Age art forms, starting with
exploring the basics of petroglyphs.
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What Are Petroglyphs?>
The term "petroglyph" stems from two
Greek words:
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"Petros" meaning “rock” and "glyphein"
meaning “to carve.”
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It is used to describe any image created
on a rock surface by scratching, carving
or similar method.
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Rock engravings, like petroglyphs, are by
far the most common type of Stone Age
art.
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They’ve been found in all parts of the
prehistoric world.
Most have been discovered in parts of
Saharan Africa, South Africa,
Scandinavia, Siberia, and Australia.
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Petroglyphs consist of geometric
designs, as well as representations of
Animals.
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The Petroglyphs of Bhimbetka are an
amazing surviving example of Stone Age
petroglyph art.
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Bhimbetka and Auditorium Cave>
Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka is a large
horizontal tunnel.
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It is roughly 25 meters long, with high
ceilings and three passageway exits.
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The whole cave gallery resembles a cross
whose center is marked by a huge rock
named "Chief's Rock."
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Within the Auditorium cave complex,
archaeologists have found eleven
petroglyphs.
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Nine cupules were first discovered in a
large vertical boulder face above ground
level.
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A little later, a tenth cupule was found.
These petroglyphs were created on very
hard quartzite that was extensively
mined during the Lower Paleolithic era.
The majority of the chopping tools, like
hand axes and cleavers, found at the site
are made from this quartzite.
The petroglyphs are located in a
weatherproof section in the heart of the
cave, but significant corrosion has taken
place.
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Archaeologists used micro-erosion tests
to confirm their belief that all the
petroglyphs were created at the same
time.
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section: More About Bhimbetka>
The Bhimbetka caves are the longest
continuously inhabited human
settlements of the world.
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The stone tools found on the site
suggest that the timeline for the
Bhimbetka paintings begins with the
Lower Paleolithic age.
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UNESCO has declared the Bhimbetka
Caves as a World Heritage Site.
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They are filled with images of hunting,
animals, and routine daily activities
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You can also see walls of a ruined
citadel, indicating Buddhist influence
during the time period.
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Ultimately, it is clear that the Bhimbetka
petroglyphs are an amazing example of
the strength and longevity of Stone Age
artwork.