|The Tan-Tan Figurine
|Found in Morocco, this sculpted piece of quartzite may represent the oldest known example of figurative art. Its human-like form is suggested by natural weathering, with artificial enhancements potentially made by primitive hominins.
|Discovered in a German cave, this is the oldest known zoomorphic sculpture, and the oldest known uncontested instance of figurative art. It’s carved from mammoth ivory, standing about 30cm tall.
|Chauvet Cave Paintings
|Located in France, these paintings represent some of the earliest known cave art. They feature a variety of animals, human handprints, and abstract symbols.
|Venus of Hohle Fels
|This female figurine is the oldest known depiction of the human form. Found in Germany, it’s carved from a mammoth’s tusk. The pronounced depiction of women’s features may suggest fertility symbols.
|El Castillo Cave Paintings
|Located in Spain, these paintings include handprints and numerous discs. One red disc has been dated as 40,000 years old, making it potentially the oldest artwork in Europe.
|Venus of Willendorf
|Found in Austria, this high-relief statuette likely symbolized fertility. Its emphasis on female sex characteristics and absence of feet suggest a focus on reproduction.
|Lascaux Cave Paintings
|Located in France, often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art,” these elaborate paintings include recognizable animals and mysterious, abstract shapes.
|Venus of Dolní Věstonice
|A ceramic figurine found in the Czech Republic. This is thought to be the oldest known ceramic artwork in the world.
|Altamira Cave Paintings
|Based in Spain, these artworks were among the first to be recognized as prehistoric due to their high quality. The ceiling depicts vividly colored animals, primarily bison.
|Göbekli Tepe Totems
|Located in Turkey, these carved stone pillars feature various animals. The location serves as a religious sanctuary predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years.