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Laura Barber

Although art historians can only speculate on the possible purposes of prehistoric carvings and paintings, there are many plausible theories. For instance, the “Venus of Willendorf’ could have been a fertility statue. It is known that humans of this time were able to assign symbolic meanings to things, so this carving, along with the other similar statues of voluptuous women, may have indeed been symbols meant to bring good luck to women trying to conceive.
The cave paintings may have been intended as sites for religious rituals. Most ‘art’ of this time had a distinct purpose and was not merely made for aesthetic value as it is now. This means that the cave paintings were likely apart of something larger within the culture. The cave art often features animals and hunters, which aligns with what occupied humans’ lives at the time. Perhaps they began this artwork to perform rituals for good luck before big hunts. Or perhaps they felt the human urge that many feel now to leave their mark on the world. Regardless of their intentions, leaving their mark on the world is exactly what they did.