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Miranda Johansson

It is difficult to interpret the true intentions of the various art pieces from the Prehistoric eras. And while reading about different theories, I think it is important to remember that they are just that: theories and not facts. With this in mind, I do like the idea that some art was used to teaching and communication, while some other art has been used for ritualistic intentions. The Pitt Rivers Museum writes, “Because art is a means of communicating human experiences, human bodies are naturally depicted.” I’m not too much of a fan about the Museum stating that art is just for communicating human experiences, because I think that art is broader than that, but it does make sense that human bodies would be depicted for this purpose. I do think that possibly some of the depictions of humans were for representing or even admiring the human form, especially those that were attractive. Like the Woman of Willendorf, this figurine seems to place emphasis on the more desirable attributes of a woman. Or possibly what was deemed as desired during that time. It wouldn’t surprise me if the figurine had some spiritual or ritual significance, representing a deity of sorts.
Although the cave paintings, such as the Lascaux Cave, seem to me to be more out of teaching purposes, such as story-telling or communication purposes.
In short, maybe humans started to depict the human form out of attraction, educational purposes, communication, or even for rituals. Maybe this was a way of exploring the human identity and what about us that makes us “human.”