Here is a list of the top 10 oldest works of Prehistoric art created during the Stone Age.It features all the major types of Paleolithic art yet discovered, including: petroglyphs (the oldest type of cultural expression), parietal art (like cave painting, as well as hand stencils and other abstract signs) and also mobiliary art (like ivory carving and other portable forms of sculpture).Nearby hand stencils were dated to about 37,000 BCE. The oldest art in Asia and the world's oldest hand stencil. Upper Paleolithic (40,000-8,000 BCE) The major period of early fine art, exemplified by portable art like the Venus Figurines, bas-relief sculpture and the polychrome cave paintings and engravings of Lascaux and Altamira. Neanderthal man replaced by anatomically modern man, like Cro-Magnon Man.CHRONOLOGY OF THE UPPER PALEOLITHIC Aurignacian Art (40,000-25,000 BCE) Gravettian Art (25,000-20,000 BCE) Solutrean Art (20,000-15,000 BCE) Magdalenian Art (15,000-10,000 BCE) The Magdalenian period witnessed the apogee of Franco-Cantabrian cave art, with the Lascaux cave paintings and the Altamira cave paintings setting awesome standards of colouring and composition.Once contemporaneity has been established the age of the object can be assessed, sometimes quite precisely, using techniques of "absolute" or chronological dating.A major type of absolute dating is radiometric dating.Sadly, none of the prehistoric rock carvers, sculptors or painters are known to us, so their works will have to speak for themselves!Also, any compilation of ancient art is limited by the hand of nature: after all, over hundreds of millennia, soft rock crumbles, pigments disappear, and wood perishes.
Thus this list of the earliest art by our ancestors like Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens sapiens - should be seen merely as a snapshot of an ongoing process of discovery.Meanwhile, in Australia, the Bradshaw Paintings (c.15,500 BCE) appeared, along with a wide variety of pictographs and petroglyphs made by the aboriginal creators of Ubirr Rock Art in Arnhem Land, Kimberley Rock Art in northern Australia and Burrup Peninsula Rock Art in the Pilbara.Meanwhile Japanese art emerged in the form of ancient Jomon Pottery (from 14,500 BCE).Thus much of the finest African art and primitive "tribal art" as well as aboriginal "Oceanic art" from the Paleolithic world, are already lost to us.NOTE: One miraculous discovery occurred in 1890, in a peat bog near Sverdlovsk in the Urals, where archeologists found the Shigir Idol (7,500 BCE), the oldest surving example of wood carving.