The following is a comparison of art from the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods in history. Paleolithic Art is art that was produced about 32,000 to 11,000 years ago. The art of the Paleolithic period falls into two main categories: portable pieces, such as small figurines or decorated objects, and cave art. Paleolithic art usually is classified as either figurative that is, depicting animals or humans, or nonfigurative, taking the form of signs and symbols. The portable art of the Paleolithic period was carved out of bone, antler, or stone, or modeled in clay. They consist of carefully worked small flint figurines of people, animals and birds, which are schematic and stylized and were probably used as amulets. This art has been found in much of Europe, in Northern Africa, and in Siberia. Paleolithic cave art, discovered in the 1860s by French paleontologist Edouard Lartet, primarily in northern Spain and southern France, takes the form of paintings, drawings, and engravings on cave walls. Artistic objects made during the Paleolithic era occupy an important place in history, since this is the only source from which we can reconstruct and study people of ancient times. The meaning and purpose of such objects from the Paleolithic era are usually identified with ancient cults.
Neolithic Art is the art and architecture of the prehistoric period stretching roughly from 7000 to 3000 BC. Neolithic art was primarily composed of pottery and architecture. By the Neolithic age the advances in technology such as farming, weaving, the advent of pottery and the construction of monumental structures such as Stonehenge, indicate that humankind begin to settle and develop their land. Neolithic people created wooden figurines of people and animals along with pottery decorated with triangles, spirals, wavy lines, and other geometric forms on its rough or polished surfaces. There are a number of articles intended for tribal cults; these are polished stone axe-hammers, one end terminating with a bear’s or elk’s head executed with a considerable degree of realism. Neolithic pottery has been found throughout the Neolithic regions, from the Middle East through North Africa and the Mediterranean to Europe and the British Isles. Depending on the particular culture of its origin, such pottery may be cast in forms that mimic baskets, gourds, bells, or leather sacks.
In conclusion, the arts in the Paleolithic and the Neolithic time period were different in many ways and alike also. As man’s mind increased, it led into the new age, and the improved quality of art through these two periods.