Bone engraved with a horse

A bigger picture

Art in the form of decorating objects and depicting the world around us may be one of the things that characterises homo sapiens. Ice Age artists display a range of styles of art from very abstract patterns to highly naturalistic portrayals of animals. Techniques include painting, engraving and carving. Different materials were used such as bone, antler, ivory, stone and probably wood, though the latter does not survive. Here are some examples.

Wolverine pendant


Bone pendant with engraved wolverine.

Found: Les Eyzies cave, the Dordogne, France.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1502900&partId=1&searchText=wolverine&page=1

Engraved rib bone


Rib bone engraved with reindeer and an ibex.

Found: Courbet cave, Penne-Tarn area, France.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/engraved-rib/zAFXH8U4NfZm8A

Horse on antler


Perforated antler baton with a horse carved in relief.

Found: La Madeleine rock shelter, the Dordogne, France.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1505622&partId=1&searchText=horse+on+antler&page=1

Swimming reindeer


Swimming reindeer carved from ivory.

Found: Montastruc rockshelter, Tarn et Garonne area, France.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/swimming-reindeer/oQEQNyJKtW6sCA

Bone pin


Decorated bone pin.

Found: Gorge d’Enfer, Dordogne, France.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/d/decorated_bone_pin.aspx

Horse jaw


A decorated horse jaw.

Found: Kendrick’s Cave, Llandudno, Wales.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1599124&partId=1&searchText=horse+jaw&page=1
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Bone engraved with a horse