In the Paleolithic period, all the tools used by human beings were made of stone. The tools were useful to their hunting and gathering lifestyle as agriculture was yet to develop. Paleolithic art was hence characterized by wild animal drawings and paintings that was mostly done in caves. The animals depicted in the cave art might have been a source of food, sacred or used for pre-hunting rituals since most of those caves were located in uninhabited areas.
Sculptures of the animals that existed in that era were also carved. The Neolithic period saw the introduction of metal tools to complement stone tools, human settlement into communities, agriculture development and domestication of animals. As a result, several drawings have been discovered depicting the Neolithic way of life; mostly domestic animals like herds of cattle and horses. There were also increased images and sculptures of humans (mostly females).
The animal incisions on rocks and sculptures in this period were sharper and had finer finishing thanks to the use of more advanced metal tools compared to the all stone tools of the Paleolithic period. Sociology was a major factor in the differences in animal depictions between these two periods. For instance, humans in the Paleolithic period did not live in communities as a result of their hunting and gathering lifestyles which were characterized by constant movement and the lesser the number of humans in a group, the minimal the competition for food acquired.
This explains the images of hunting scenes and wild animals in widely scattered and concealed caves. The social structure in the Neolithic period changed to formation of communities that inhabited villages which explains the paintings of domestic animals adjacent to human dwellings.
REFERENCES M. Hoover, “Art of the Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras. ” July 2001. Art History Survey 1, San Antonio College. May 22, 2010 < http://www. alamo. edu/sac/vat/arthistory/arts1303/palneo. htm>