World's Oldest Art

100 Prehistoric Artworks
The earliest cave paintings, engravings, relief sculptures and venus figurines of the Paleolithic

Main A-Z Index

List of the World's Oldest Art

  1. Trinil Shell Engravings
    (540,000-430,000 BC)
    Java, Indonesia
    The shell is marked by a zigzag pattern, scratched by Homo erectus.

  2. Bilzingsleben Engravings (350,000 BC)
    Thuringia, Germany
    Elephant shin bone incised with 14 parallel lines by Neanderthal or H. heidelbergensis engraver

  3. Venus of Berekhat Ram (230,000 BC)
    Retouched basalt manuport
    Golan, Israel

  4. Auditorium Cave Cupules
    (200,000-500,000 BC)
    Bhimbetka
    Madhya Pradesh, India.

  5. Daraki-Chattan Cupules
    (200,000-500,000 BC)
    Indragarh Hill, Bhanpura
    Madhya Pradesh, India.

  6. Venus of Tan-Tan (200,000 BC)
    Retouched quartzite manuport
    Tan-Tan, Morocco
    Possibly the oldest art in Africa.

  7. Bruniquel Cave Structures
    (175,000 BC)
    Neanderthal constructions
    Montauban, France

  8. Quesang Handprints
    (167,000 BC)
    World's oldest handprints
    Quesang, Tibet

  9. Krapina Eagle Jewellery (130,000 BC)
    Neanderthal necklaces
    from eagle claws.
    Hušnjakovo Hill, Croatia

  10. Los Aviones Cave Jewellery (113,000 BC)
    Neanderthal shell jewellery
    with perforations and pigments.
    Cartagena, Southeastern Spain

  11. Klasies River Caves
    (100,000 BC)
    World's first engraving (mobiliary art).
    Incised sub-parallel lines on pebble.
    Eastern Cape, South Africa

  12. Blombos Cave Drawing (71,000 BC)
    World's first drawing (mobiliary art): red ochre crosshatch pattern on grindstone cobble. Southern Cape, South Africa

  13. Cave of Maltravieso Stencil (64,700 BC)
    Neanderthal hand stencils
    Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain

  14. Ardales Cave (63,000 BC)
    Stalactites painted red
    Northwest of Malaga, in southern Spain

  15. La Pasiega Cave (62,000 BC)
    Neanderthal scalariform image
    Cantabria, Spain

  16. Diepkloof Eggshell Engravings (60,000 BC)
    Engraved ostrich eggshells
    Western Cape, South Africa

  17. La Ferrassie Cave (60,000 BC)
    Neanderthal cupules
    Perigord, France

  18. Divje Babe flute (58,000 BC)
    Neanderthal Flute
    National Museum of Slovenia, Ljubljana

  19. La Roche-Cotard Cave (55,000 BC)
    Neanderthal finger-drawings: the world's oldest parietal engravings. Loire Valley, France

  20. Leang Tedongnge Cave (43,500 BC)
    World's oldest figurative painting
    Maros-Pangkep, Sulawesi

  21. Leang Bulu' Sipong 4 Cave (41,900 BC)
    The first painted images of humans
    Maros-Pangkep, Sulawesi

  22. El Castillo Cave (38,000 BC)
    Red disk next to hand stencils
    Cantabria, Spain

  23. Lion Man of Hohlenstein Stadel (38,000 BC)
    World's first sculpture.
    Ivory carving of human figure with lion's head
    Swabian Jura, Germany

  24. Vogelherd Cave (38,000 BC)
    Mammoth ivory carving et al.
    Swabian Jura, Germany

  25. Lubang Jeriji Saleh Cave (38,000 BC)
    Animal paintings, handprints
    Borneo, Indonesia

  26. Leang Timpuseng Cave (37,900 BC)
    Hand stencils, animal images
    Sulawesi, Indonesia

  27. Venus of Hohle Fels
    (38,000 BC)
    Ivory carving of obese female
    Swabian Jura, Germany

  28. Altxerri Cave (37,000 BC)
    Animal paintings, Altxerri B
    Basque Country, Spain

  29. Gorham's Cave (37,000 BC)
    Abstract engraving
    Made by Neanderthals
    Gibraltar

  30. Abri Cellier (36,000 BC)
    Engraved woolly mammoth
    Aurignacian Culture
    Dordogne, France

  31. Baume-Latrone Cave
    (35,500 BC)
    Unique clay paintings
    Occitanie, France

  32. Abri Castanet Engravings (35,000 BC)
    Engravings, abstract symbols
    Commune de Sergeac, Dordogne, France

  33. Chauvet Cave (34,500 BC)
    Animal paintings, abstracts
    Ardèche Valley, France

  34. Fumane Cave Paintings (34,500 BC)
    Figurative images of animals and human figure
    Lessini Hills, Verona, Italy

  35. Altamira Cave Art (34,000 BC)
    Red claviform signs
    Cantabria, Spain

  36. Tito Bustillo Cave
    (34,000 BC)
    Polychrome cave art
    Ribadesella, Asturias

  37. Coliboaia Cave Art
    (30,000 BC)
    Charcoal drawings of horses and bison
    Sighestel Valley, Romania

  38. Burrup Peninsula Rock Art
    (30,000 BC estimate)
    Outdoor rock engravings
    Dampier Archipelago, Australia

  39. Ubirr Rock Art
    (30,000 BC estimate)
    Open air rock engravings
    Kakadu Park, NT, Australia

  40. Kimberley Rock Art
    (30,000 BC estimate)
    Cupules, engravings
    Gwion/Wandjina paintings
    NW Western Australia

  41. Venus of Willendorf
    (28,000 BC)
    Oolitic limestone figure
    Lower Austria

  42. Venus of Galgenberg
    (28,000 BC)
    Tiny figurine carved from serpentine
    Galgenberg, Lower Austria

  43. Venus of Dolní Věstonice
    (27,000 BC)
    Clay-fired venus figurine, plus
    2,300 ceramic animal figures
    South Moravian region, Czech.

  44. Pech Merle Cave (27,000 BC)
    Gravettian paintings, signs.
    Cabrerets, Lot, France.

  45. Roucadour Cave (27,000 BC)
    Engravings, hand stencils, signs
    Quercy, Lot, France.

  46. Grande Grotte at Arcy-sur-Cure (26,700 BC)
    Animal paintings, hand stencils.
    Burgundy, France.

  47. Cussac Cave (26,500 BC)
    Large scale animal engravings
    Périgord, France.

  48. Grotte des Deux-Ouvertures
    (26,500 BC)
    Rock engravings of woolly mammoths and aurochs
    Ardeche Valley, France.

  49. Venus of Savignano
    (26,000 BC)
    Serpentine venus figurine
    Savignano sul Punaro, Italy.

  50. Nawarla Gabarnmang
    (26,000 BC)
    Charcoal painting
    Arnhem Land, Australia.

  51. Apollo 11 Cave (25,500 BC)
    Animal paintings
    Huns Mountains, Namibia.

  52. Cosquer Cave (25,000 BC)
    Hand stencils, engravings
    Marseilles, France.

  53. Dolní Věstonice
    Portrait Head

    (25,000 BC)
    Oldest portrait bust
    Brno Museum, Czech Rep.

  54. Grimaldi Venuses
    (25,000 BC)
    Female statuettes
    Liguria, Italy.

  55. Gargas Cave (25,000 BC)
    Hand stencils, engravings
    Haute-Garonne, France.

  56. Venus of Monpazier
    (23,000 BC)
    Limonite venus figurine
    Dordogne, France.

  57. Venus of Laussel (23,000 BC)
    Limestone bas-relief
    Dordogne, France.

  58. Abri du Poisson (23,000 BC)
    Relief sculpture of salmon
    Dordogne, France.

  59. Venus of Brassempouy
    (23,000 BC)
    Mammoth ivory carving
    Landes, south-west France.

  60. Cougnac Cave (23,000 BC)
    Placard-type signs,
    "Wounded men"
    Lot, France.

  61. Venus of Lespugue
    (23,000 BC)
    Mammoth ivory carving
    Haute-Garonne, France.

  62. Coa Valley Rock Art
    (22,000-28,000 BC)
    Open air engravings
    Portugal.

  63. Venus Figurines of Kostenki
    (22,500 BC)
    Totemic female statuettes
    Voronezh, Russia.

  64. Cova Dones (22,000 BC)
    Animal paintings, cave signs
    Valencia, Spain

  65. Venus of Moravany
    (21,000 BC)
    Mammoth ivory carving
    W. Slovakia.

  66. Avdeevo Venuses
    (21,000 BC)
    Ivory/stone figurines
    Kursk, Russia.

  67. Gagarino Venuses
    (20,000 BC)
    Mammoth ivory carvings
    Lipetsk, Russia.

  68. Mal'ta Venuses (20,000 BC)
    Totemic ivory figurines
    Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia.

  69. Buret Venuses (20,000 BC)
    Ivory/stone figures
    Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia.

  70. Lascaux Cave (19,000 BC)
    Paintings & engravings
    Solutrean benchmark.
    Périgord, France.

  71. Siega Verde Rock Art
    (18,000-14,000 BC)
    Outdoor rock carvings
    Salamanca Province, Spain.

  72. Koonalda Cave (18,000 BC)
    Finger fluting
    Nullarbor plain, Australia.

  73. La Pileta Cave (18,000 BC)
    Parietal art
    Malaga, Andalucia, Spain.

  74. Zaraysk Venus (18,000 BC)
    Ivory statuettes
    SE of Moscow, Russia.

  75. Le Placard Cave (17,700 BC)
    Aviform signs & engravings
    Charente, France.

  76. Roc de Sers (17,200 BC)
    Bas-relief animal frieze
    Charente, France.

  77. Vela Spila Cave Pottery
    (15,500 BC)
    Animal figures, Croatia.

  78. Kangaroo Painting Kimberley
    (15,300 BC)
    Unghango clan estate
    NE Kimberley, W. Australia.

  79. Kapova Cave (14,500 BC)
    Paintings, geometric signs
    Shulgan-Tash, Urals.

  80. Font-de-Gaume Cave
    (14,000 BC)
    Painted engravings
    Dordogne, France.

  81. Bison Licking Its Side
    (13,000 BC)
    Reindeer antler carving
    Abri de la Madeleine, France.

  82. Cap Blanc (13,000 BC)
    Frieze of relief sculpture
    Périgord, France.

  83. Venus of Eliseevichi (13,000 BC)
    Ivory carving of female
    Briansk, Russia.

  84. Roc-aux-Sorciers (13,000 BC)
    Relief sculpture frieze
    Vienne, France.

  85. Trois Frères Cave (13,000 BC)
    Exceptional engravings
    Ariège, France.

  86. Tuc d'Audoubert Cave
    (13,000 BC)
    Haut-relief sculptures
    Ariège, France.

  87. Gabillou Cave (13,000 BC)
    Engravings of "Sorcerer" & "Hare"
    Périgord, France.

  88. Niaux Cave (13,000 BC)
    Black weasel image
    Ariège, France

  89. Petersfels Venus Figurines
    (13,000 BC)
    Jet lignite female figures
    Engen, Germany.

  90. Le Portel Cave (12,500 BC)
    Black drawings
    Ariège, France.

  91. Atxurra Cave (12,500 BC)
    Painted engravings
    Basque Country, Spain.

  92. Cathole Cave (12,500 BC)
    Engraved drawing of reindeer,
    the oldest art in Britain.
    Gower Peninsula, Wales.

  93. Creswell Crags (12,000 BC)
    Engraving of a stag
    Northernmost paleolithic art
    in Europe.
    Notts/Derby, UK.

  94. Ekain Cave (12,000 BC)
    Paintings of horses.
    Basque Country, Spain.

  95. Santimamiñe Cave (12,000 BC)
    Charcoal drawings of animals
    Basque Country, Spain.

  96. Drinking Reindeer at Les Combarelles
    (11,700 BC)
    600 Engravings!
    Dordogne, France.

  97. Lingjing Bird Figurine (11,300 BC)
    Small bone carving of a standing bird
    Lingjing, Henan, China.

  98. Rouffignac Cave
    (11,000 BC)
    Black paintings
    Dordogne, France

  99. Swimming Reindeer
    (11,000 BC)
    Magdalenian sculpture
    Montastruc, France.

  100. Addaura Caves (10,000 BC)
    Human engravings
    Palermo, Sicily.

  101. Shigir Idol (10,000 BC)
    Oldest wood carving
    Yekaterinburg, Russia.

  102. Venus of Monruz-Neuchâtel
    (10,000-9,000 BC)
    Black jet figurine.
    Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

  103. Göbekli Tepe (9,500 BC)
    Megalithic archeological site
    Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey.

  104. Nevalı Çori (9,000 BC)
    Megalithic architecture and art
    Şanlıurfa Province, SE Turkey.

  105. Cueva de las Manos
    (7,300 BC)
    Hand stencils
    Patagonia, Argentina.

For more about the chronology of art during the Stone Age, see: Prehistoric Art Timeline.

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