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Bob Hook

To begin to speculate about the intention of artists from thousands of years ago is very challenging filled with potential missteps. I think about how hard it is for humans to interrupt and agree on events that have happened in the last several hundred years. We still disagree on the nature of the event, even with our modern communication tools and written languages. Magnify those same problems over 15,000 years and you can begin to see how fragile our interpretations may actually be.
Given my modern biases and limits of my imagination, I can only speculate as to the meanings of these artifacts. I think that both the “Woman of Willendorf’ and the “Woman from Dolni Vestonice are meant to either admire the maternal image or to act as talismans to promote fertility. The Lion-Human image represents a person who shared characteristics with those of a lion. Was he strong and powerful or someone to be feared, we will never know. I see this as a reverse anthropomorphizing of a human, animal traits given to a human.
The cave art is absolutely meant to be preserved and viewed by others in the future. Given the transient nature of their shelters and the lack of permanence for their artistic materials, caves represented the only structure available to preserve their images. Could these caves have been the first art museums? Images of the world around them to be displayed and preserved.