Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Stone Canvas (Part 2)

By Bethany Youngblood

Now that you have been introduced to the concepts and purposes of ancient cave art (read Part 1 if you missed it!), we can begin our grand tour fully prepared to appreciate it. I’ve arranged what I consider to be the five most stunning works of ancient man’s artistic genius.

The Grand Tour

Cueva de las Manos ~ The Cave of Hands

Cueva de las Manos
Located in Argentina, this site is known for its panels of rock art hand paintings. The stenciled impression was probably accomplished by blowing the mineral pigment through a hollow tube around the hand. Most of the hands are left hands and average around the size of a 13-year-old boy. Experts speculate that, due to the hunting scenes also located at the site, that this was part of an initiation ceremony. They are dated to be around 9,000 years old according to a secular calendar. [1] From a Biblical worldview we can certainly say that this site was created Post-Flood, after mankind’s dispersion from Babel. A potential date range therefore falls between 2,000 and 1,000 BC.


Lascaux Cave 
This breath-taking complex of caves is located in southern France and is known primarily for the size, quality, and excellence of the almost 2,000 painted figures throughout it. Chamber names include; The Great Hall of Bulls, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery, and the Chamber of Felines. Horses dominate the scene, numbering close to 364 individuals. There are ninety stags, multiple bison, a bear, a rhino, and a human.[2]

The Great Black Bull

But the stars of Lascaux are the bulls. Four huge black bulls appear to run across the stone walls. One measures seventeen feet long, the largest animal cave painting ever found. These painted bulls actually represent an extinct species of wild cattle called Aurochs. Aurochs were massive and reportedly bad-tempered. They were the basis for the Minoan legends of the Minotaur and used in the Minoan bull-leaping games.[3][4]

Take a virtual tour of this cave!

The Cave Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc

The Panel of Lions

This is another artistic marvel local to southern France. Like Lascaux, this cave is known for its’ exceptional quality. It sets itself apart though for the rare exhibition of predators and the artistic finesse throughout the cave.

Thirteen different animal species including horses, cattle, reindeer, bison, wooly rhinos, and owls are represented as well as predators like cave bears, panthers, hyenas, and a whole wall of lions painted in blue. No human figures have been discovered in this cave.[5]

Many caves in France feature something unique in the cave-art world and it’s found in both Chauvet and Lascaux; animation. Some animals appear to have been painted with multiple heads or several extra legs. But when explorers turned off their flashlights and brought a torch down into the dark the flickering shadows made the animals appear to move! An example of this effect can be seen in this video.

Narwala Gabarnmang

Narwala Gabarnmang 
This site in Australia’s Northern Territory has come to be known as the “Cistine Chapel of Rock Art Sites”. The carbon-dating used on these cave-paintings date its creation at roughly 33,000 years ago, the same as Chauvet and Lascaux.[6] Even though this dating system is flawed, it shocked historians because it elevated Aboriginal people, a group that has suffered harsh persecution in the past, right up there with some of the most advanced artists of ancient Europe. Should that surprise us? No! If you go from a Biblical perspective mankind could have reached Australia and created this work of art anywhere from 2100 to 1600 BC.

“All people, including Australian Aborigines, are descended from Noah’s family. After God confused the languages of people at the Tower of Babel, in the years following the global Flood of about 2350 BC, groups of people dispersed through the world. Each group surely possessed knowledge of some current technology in addition to their new language. Thus, we expect to see evidence of intelligent people scattered all over the world, including these paintings in Narwala Gabarnmang…..Aborigines were not at the head of the human evolutionary pack but were, like groups of people all over the world, using their intelligence and their skills to rebuild civilizations after the Flood and migration from Babel.” – Dr. Elisabeth Mitchell[7]

Ica Stones

Ica Stone showing dinosaurs
This example of ancient art is less cave-art and more of an amazing array of engravings. A flood in Peru in the first half of the 20th century eroded the side of a mountain away and revealed a cave were 16,000 stones like the two shown above were hidden. Dr. Javier Cabera displayed 11,000 of them in his small museum. The stones depict an array of figures but a significant number showcase dinosaurs.[8]

A huge controversy surrounds these stones for that very reason. Skeptics claim they’re an elaborate hoax because it is impossible for a human to have seen a living dinosaur according to their timeline. Hoaxes are an unfortunate reality for both evolutionists and creationists, so the authenticity of these stones is undecided. Still, they make an interesting place to end our tour for today.


We certainly hope you enjoyed this brief perusal of ancient art. Like any summary it hopefully showed you the highlights; ancient man was created with a creative and intelligent spirit like me and you, quite unlike what mainstream theories would have you believe. Men who temporarily dwelled in caves or used their walls as a sanctuary were not primitive but in fact demonstrated artistic genius in many areas. As a summary this tour also skimmed over the not-so God-honoring pieces of ancient man’s workmanship. Yet isn’t this just another reminder that ancient man was just as fallen and in need of a Savior as we? Take a moment to consider our modern artistic expression. Do we use our creativity to praise God, or do we instead paint worldly veneers over something made in God’s Own Image and dishonor Him?

Are there any examples of ancient art that you find incredible? Let us know! Share your thoughts and discoveries, we’d love to hear them.

Be sure and read Part 1 if you missed it! 

[1] Bradshaw Foundation
[3] “The Aurochs: Bull of Myth and Legend.” Erika.

[4] “Bull Mythology.”
[5] Bradshaw Foundation
[6] “News to Note, June 30, 2012” Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell.
[7] Ibid.

No comments:

Post a Comment