Examples of thermoluminescence dating
After all, Rock art traditionally includes a wide variety of man-made markings, such as those created to mark/map territory (geocontourglyphs), pictorialize the stars, record events, or illustrate myths and other rituals.Dating this ancient art can be a very difficult process, often involving radiometric and thermoluminescence methods.Indeed, Knowth is reputedly home to about one third of all megalithic art in Western Europe.Of course, the most obvious characteristic of rock art (whether petroglyph or pictograph) is its "artistic" quality, but this is sometimes the most difficult attribute to establish. These non-utilitarian cup-like hollows are the most ubiquitous and varied type of prehistoric human markings, yet archeologists and anthropologists remain baffled as to their meaning or significance. Nobody yet knows, although it seems reasonable to assume they have cultural significance of some kind, which should be sufficient.
Pictography is the creation of monochrome or polychrome images through the application of pigments, like carbon, manganese and various oxides.Establishing the chronology of extremely old works from the Lower Paleolithic Era (2,500,000 - 200,000 BCE) is even more difficult, not least because it is often almost impossible to establish that certain marks are "man-made".With that in mind, experts believe that the earliest recorded rock art is the Bhimbetka petroglyphs - a series of 10 cupules and an engraving, which were uncovered during the 1990s in a quartzite rock shelter at Bhimbetka in central India. (2) MESOLITHIC ERA --- c.10,000 - 4,000 BCE: Northern and Western Europe --- c.10,000 - 7,000 BCE: Southeast Europe --- c.10,000 - 8,000 BCE: Middle East & Rest of World (3) NEOLITHIC ERA --- c.4,000 - 2,000 BCE: Northern and Western Europe --- c.7,000 - 2,000 BCE: Southeast Europe --- c.8,000 - 2,000 BCE: Middle East & Rest of World Xianrendong Cave Pottery (c.18,000 BCE) World's most ancient pottery, discovered in northeastern Jiangxi Province in southeast China.The most important sites of engraved cave art include: Chauvet Cave (30,000 BCE), Le Placard Cave (17,500 BCE), Roc-de-Sers Cave (17,200 BCE), Rouffignac Cave (14,000 BCE) and Les Combarelles Cave (12,000 BCE).
Deeper rock carving in the form of relief sculpture also appeared at a relatively early stage, as exemplified by the famous Venus of Laussel (c.23,000 BCE) a bas-relief of a naked woman with the typical exaggerated features of a Venus statuette.
Indeed, they are still used in tribal art and in some non-literate cultures in Africa, South and Central America, and Oceania.