55 thoughts on “ARTH 114, spring 2020

  1. Mackenzie Hoffman

    My first answer is “why not?” The same kind of question could be asked about many things in our lives today. Why do we put art on our walls? Why do we paint our nails? Why do we choose one object over another that functions the same way? The way I look at this question is thinking about how we are not so different from people in the past. Different people have different motivations for picking decorated objects, but I feel like it boils down to “because we like it, so why not?”.

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    1. Elizabeth Glenn

      I agree with this answer. Not only do we do all of the the things Mackenzie stated but we also do some other things. Such as painting murals on bedroom walls, school walls, or even on the outside of buildings. In a way they are similar to cave paintings. Prehistoric humans could have painted cave walls to tell a story, to give warnings, to express themselves, to show that they were here, or many other reasons. They could have decorated objects because they liked the look of it. Maybe they were making the object during the winter meaning they had nothing but time. Some might of done it to show how skilled they were at creating the object. While every person now has different reasons for decorating something it was the same as prehistoric people. I feel like it can boil down to two main topics: they have nothing else to do or its because the like the way it looks.

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  2. Meghan McLees

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects because it was part of their culture. Different cultures have a unique perspective of art. Seeing different art pieces, each culture adds decoration differently. For different cultures during prehistoric time, their decorations could have demonstrated their lifestyle, telling a story. Not all cultures are the same with their experiences, that would be an explanation as to why some were decorated differently than others. Prehistoric humans were expressing themselves through the decoration of an object. This could be another way for prehistoric humans could communicate their thoughts and feelings. Not everyone in different cultures spoke the same language, through the decoration of art, were able to relate and understand what the artist is trying to prove.

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  3. Aidan Bost

    I feel that prehistoric humans had some sense of providing information to future generations and wanted to preserve their culture for posterity. Decorating objects and creating pieces of art gives a personal and unique touch to objects from the past.

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    1. Spencer Johnston

      I 100% agree with this. I mean, before there were words and written language how else would you convey messages? Through pictures and murals. It’s not enough to just sum up all cave pictures as mere art. Think about like lego instructions or like an IKEA manual. That’s what they were going for with some of those murals, I bet.

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  4. Mackenzie Reynolds

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects as an outlet for expression or to differentiate objects. Using decorations could help people to relay how they are feeling to others as well as decorating things such as tools could have helped them recognize which tools were which.

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  5. Anna

    An artist might decorate an object to give it personality or to make it stand out in some way. Sometimes they might want to leave an impression on society and inform them of something that’s important to them (i.e. politics, a movement).

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  6. Katelyn Brawner

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects for many reasons. The object may have a cultural significance. Prehistoric humans also may have decorated objects as a form of communication and expression. In addition to cultural significance, communication, and expression, decorated objects may have had monetary value for trading. Another possible reason prehistoric humans decorated objects would be for religious significance.

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  7. Megan Meiser

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects so that they could make something to keep with them, whether it be for security, comfort, or just to admire. Decorating objects may have also given them time to do something that they enjoyed and to do in their pastime.

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  8. Nathaniel Holic

    They would do this as a way to make the item more wanted and therefore more likely to sell the object for a higher price, or sell it in general. This is because it would show social class as well as be aesthetically pleasing to the eye rather than a separate object. I could also see it as a way to identify ones object than all other objects. But in the end I believe that most of it would be behind the fact that it would increase the worth of the object for payment or bartering.

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  9. Jefferson Reyes

    Prehistoric humans might have decorated objects as a form of expression and communication. There are many reasons and factors that go into decorating an object. Many consists of culture, their goal, or purpose of decorating and what exactly they are trying to reach across. Why, who, when, and where are all questions which we should think of when looking at objects and decorations. Everyone does something because there is a meaning behind it; therefore, decorating objects must derive from something within the person that created it.

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  10. Jefferson Reyes

    Prehistoric humans might have decorated objects as a form of expression and communication. There are many reasons and factors that go into decorating an object. Many consists of culture, or their goal or purpose of decorating and what exactly they are trying to reach across. Why, who, when, and where are all questions which we should think of when looking at objects and decorations. Everyone does something because there is a meaning behind it; therefore, decorating objects must derive from something within the person that created it.

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  11. Da'Shawn Cook

    I feel like prehistoric humans decorated their objects to show that it was their work. To separate their work from others with a certain type of design or to represent their culture.

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  12. Sydney Khu

    Prehistoric humans may have decirated objects to portay stories and life events. These decorations could help save the stories for future generations to depict how life was like at the time of when the object had been decorated.

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  13. Micah Harlan

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects because it was a way to tell stories before written language was a thing. The decorations could have also been a cultural thing that were apart of rituals.

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    1. Jack Hurst

      Past humans decorated their surroundings with depictions of animals, natural disasters, or even unexplained events. They carved this symbols to tell a story through visuals, since the idea of language has not developed to a “alphabet” degree. The humans may also have did these symbols as possible markers or signs for certain events (ex. Beware sign could be a depiction of a lion, or an abundance of bison drawn could indicate food for other humans that come across the sign).

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  14. Jefferson Reyes

    Prehistoric humans might have decorated objects as a form of expression and communication. There are many reasons and factors that go into decorating an object. Many consists of culture, or their goal or purpose of decorating and what exactly they are trying to reach across. Why, who, when, and where are all questions which we should think of when looking at objects and decorations. Everyone does something because there is a meaning behind it; therefore, decorating objects must derive from something within the person that created it.

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    1. Anthony M Tiberia

      Objects would be decorated in order to show to others that it possesses an important meaning in that person’s life. Next, it could be seen as a way to make a place more of a home than just a settlement. By creating something that is ornate, it shows creativity and personality that their culture possessed. In addition, they could be filling their spiritual role by finding a nonliving object to decorate in order to please their god.

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  15. Alexandra Corrao

    A reason why prehistoric humans decorated their art was because it was a mean of expressing themselves in ways that were uniquely their own. The art they created could show how that particular person saw themselves or the world around them.

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    1. Michaela Steinbauer

      Art is a form of expression and can display an array of different ideas or opinions. Prehistoric humans could have decorated an object to make conveying an idea more easy to understand. It is often easier to understand a concept when it is visual. It also could have been decorated to explore new ways to create art or to pass down to future generations.

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  16. Zach Adams

    I think it was a way for them to “leave their mark”. That way they could make something that lasts and creates something that is appealing to look at or maybe a different deeper meaning about their culture.

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  17. Michael Stover

    I believe prehistoric humans decorated objects as a way to express themselves and give insight into their culture. Aldo decorating allowed them to leave their mark or mark their territory for generations who came after them.

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  18. Caroline Walker

    I believe that prehistoric humans decorated objects to express their lifestyles and culture. I believe they wanted to have decorations just as we do today, it creates a sense of security and comfort. Prehistoric humans are not our “everyday people” but in their time, they were. I imagine these people walking into each others homes and admiring their decor just as we do today.

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  19. Hannah Abraham

    Prehistoric humans have influenced their culture by creating artwork to express themselves. They created this art in order to express their beliefs, personality, and feelings to others. This was a way for them to not only leave something for the next generation to see, but to influence art as we have it today.

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    1. Spencer Johnston

      Ooo, that’s cool to think about. Like they knew their work would be carried on and were like “yeah, imma create art like this so the style can be carried on.” Almost like a Bob Ross show or instructional video.

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  20. Joseph Lewis

    I believe that prehistoric humans decorated objects to help signify and to show representation of a past or present event, to help stand out from one another, and for cultural reasons. Some might have decorated an object to show how things were back then or maybe how they wish things were. Many cultures use and have different symbols to help represent their cultural beliefs and decorating object could be a way to express those beliefs rather than talking.

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  21. Katie Kaloustian

    Earlier humans would decorate an object to express their values, idols, or to well…decorate it. We decorate our walls as much as we decorate our bodies with clothes and jewelry. Idols may have included types of gods that represent fertility, war, or a food source. This conveys to the next generation the previous value system along with the methods used for survival.

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  22. Anya Lea Gurin-Hirschoff

    Prehistoric humans may have wanted to decorate to an object to try and create a sense of identity and a sense of culture, something they would have understood to be theirs because the design would be unique to them. Decoration may have also allowed for a new form of creative expression that could be shared and enjoyed by others.

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  23. Katie Kaloustian

    Early humans decorated objects to represent their values, idols, or to simply decorate their living space. Today, present humans decorate their walls and bodies with clothes and jewelry. Idols were made to represent fertility, the power of war, or the necessity of a source of food. These forms of art may have acted as a a way to teach and warn the next generation of the danger of certain animals or specific ways to hunt certain species.

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  24. sierra

    I think that prehistoric humans decorated objects for decorational and ritualistic purposes. Even in earlier times, humans were likely drawn to “pretty” objects, and were probably drawn to the outcome of expressing themselves through art and decoration. Their culture and community rituals likely served as another thing to express through these objects.

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  25. Taylor Newsome

    I believe that prehistoric humans decorated objects to represent traditions, culture, religion, or express their beliefs or personality. Their artwork was created to showcase their beliefs to others, create a heirloom to be passed down through the generations, or simply show their personality.

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  26. Emily Hilbert

    My first thought, is what object are the prehistoric humans decorating? They may have decorated different objects for different reasons. Caves may have been painted as a way to tell oral histories and stories to the younger generation, or a way to say “I was here, remember me.” People may have been painted to show fertility, accentuate desirability, or participate in social or religious ceremonies. Smaller objects may have been decorated and carried around as a sort of personal or spiritual guide, or to ward off darker spirits Larger objects were kept in a place that could be easily accessed and may have been decorated to pay homage to people who have since passed on or to please a deity of some form. All of these possible answers are as varying and different as the prehistoric humans who put them there in the first place

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  27. Mariah Diederich

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects for many reasons, and probably many are the same as contemporary humans. They may have done so to express themselves and their own individual sense of creativity. Secondly, they could have simply wanted to make something beautiful and to appreciate their surroundings. Finally, they could have decorated objects to give them greater meaning beyond the practical aspects, such as for rituals.

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  28. johnny pippins

    Why would prehistoric humans decorate an object?

    I think the main reason would be communication. There is likely a message trying to be sent behind the decorated object, which for example could be a carving of a figure like an animal. For example sending a message of your prowess in sculpture, which perhaps was more common than we can understand due to limited artifacts found. It could also be a skill used to create objects for bartering.
    There isn’t a large way to express your individuality or talent in forms that aren’t already very common, such as hunting or such, and decorating an object creates an art out of something, which is used for the variety of purposes such as communication.

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  29. Nina Sacco

    Prehistoric humans decorate their objects to show the meaning and purpose of an object beyond its realistic use. If a prehistoric human decorated a cup for example they could be representing the times that they use the cup. The humans could show the environment that they use the cup in and the social gathering it would be used in. I think the designs and decorations would be representative of their culture and possibly the construction and gathering of the materials used to make the cup.

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  30. Anisa Abubakr

    Prehistoric humans would decorate an object solely out of boredom or wanting to represent a real life object. Back in prehistoric times, there was not much to do to simulate the brain. The main objectives of prehistoric man was to procure food and stay alive. Prehistoric humans would decorate these objects because it gave them something to do as well as brought enjoyment.

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  31. Caroline Tinsley

    Prehistoric humans decorated their objects to show importance and individualism. They also decorated them to show where and how they lived for future generations to discover and learn from. Prehistoric humans could have also decorated thier artifacts to pass the time.

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  32. Elena Streeter

    My initial thought was that prehistoric humans must have decorated art for spiritual or ritualistic reasons. However, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this is not the main reason. Instead, I think that prehistoric humans decorated objects to express themselves and to tell their stories. I think that these objects capture moments in time that allowed prehistoric humans to relive their memories. Additionally, it was a way of leaving their mark in this world and a way of sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

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  33. Elena Streeter

    My initial thought was that prehistoric humans must have decorated art for spiritual or ritualistic reasons; however, the more I think about it the more I am convinced that this is not the main reason. Instead, I think that prehistoric humans decorated objects to express themselves and to tell their stories. I think that these objects capture moments in time which allowed prehistoric humans to relive their memories. Additionally, it was a way of leaving their mark in this world and a way of sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

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  34. Joseph "Joe" Hairston

    Just like prehistoric humans decorating an object. Present day humans every Christmas and during many other holidays and special observances decorate objects to make them stand out or make them more attractive. It is a way of honoring the objects as the offer them to the world.

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  35. Leanne Larkin

    Prehistoric humans didn’t have much around them, besides the world itself. I feel like a main reason for prehistoric humans to decorate an object was for entertainment. They could decorate and make designs for fun, or to tell stories, even to express inner thoughts and feelings. There was no known written language at this time so decorating object could have been a form of communication or story telling to future generations.

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  36. Travis Erickson

    I think some of the early cave paintings/artifacts were in many regards, about telling a story. Throughout all of recorded history stories have been an important part of civilization and almost certainly preceded it. Stories about how one tribe took down a gargantuan mammoth or fought off a lion, stories like the Willendorf Woman retelling her journey as a mother. I don’t mean to get into the immense value of stories to people here but I think a lot of art is about telling a story, even back then.

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  37. Spencer Johnston

    To me it seems like prehistoric art was more of a way to convey information rather than convey a sense of taste. All the murals I have seen are very literal and depict things that the artist has experienced, ranging from hunting to gathering with friends. This could be to either record history, or to act as a way of passing on techniques. For example, a hunting mural would depict the methods of how to chase down and take down an animal. And a mural depicting a fireside gathering would be to pass down the history that a gathering like that did indeed occur.

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  38. Seamus Brennan

    I think that the prehistoric humans would decorate there art to express themselves through there art and make there own and have there own special mark kinda like how artist out there signatures on artwork today

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  39. Maddy Sever

    In prehistoric times, I would assume that individuals decorated objects for the same reason we do now; because we all enjoy some form of aesthetic. Additionally, the decor that we see in these prehistoric objects reflects the culture and society that was present at the time, the same way we can look back and characterize each decade based on art, architecture, clothing, etc.. Decor can also be a way of story telling, and ultimately grows to write history by preserving the aesthetics of a certain time period; from prehistoric to objects of the 21st century.

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  40. Austin Brooks

    Prehistoric humans would decorate an object in oder to have an outlet and a way to express the types of things that they saw and experienced. They lived in nature and maintained a lifestyle that most of us today could never think of living. The people of this time period also seemed to decorate certain objects as a way to make their homes or living spaces more appealing to the eye which would make their living space more lively and inviting.

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  41. Wyatt Lipscomb

    I imagine prehistoric humans decorated things for the same reason we decorate things. They were interested and fascinated with what was around them, and wanted to adorn objects were interesting designs to make the objects more interesting or mark those objects as “theirs.”

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  42. Nicole

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects as their way of telling stories so history wouldn’t be forgotten.

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  43. Hannah Sexton

    Prehistoric humans may have added decorations to express their culture/lifestyle artistically. While there are a variety of languages throughout the world, art is universal and can be depicted by anyone. Decorations could also have been added simply to please the eye during the particular time period and portray ideas/styles prehistoric people enjoyed. Religious reasons could also play a role in why decorations were added to art in the past. Specific decorations could hold spiritual significance in which were worshiped by large groups and held special meaning.

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  44. Melissa Beirne

    I believe they would decorate objects for spiritual and passing on lessons or stories purposes. Decorating a hunting object with an animal they would be hunting may indicate they believe it would help them hunt said animal better. Another would be the cave walls which could be used for teaching and story telling.

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  45. Lana

    There are several functional and symbolic reasons why prehistoric humans would decorate an object. Though we lead very different lives, modern humans use writing and art to accomplish the same things as prehistoric humans. We track natural occurrences like the weather and hunting grounds. We tell entertaining stories and teach each other how to live safer, more fulfilling lives. We use icons in spiritual practices. Art evokes emotion and thus our most “human” experiences. The mental acuity and physical dexterity needed to decorate an object or create art is a gift that only humans possess. Our ability to create art has evolved alongside us, thus proving the innate compulsion humans have to create art. In a sense, we just can’t help ourselves; appreciating art is just part of being human.

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  46. isabel palmer

    Prehistoric humans could decorate objects because they could use art to tell stories or share past experiences. Or they could use it for religious purposes, to pay respect to the gods or whomever they worshipped.

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  47. Emily Shively

    Prehistoric human decorated objects to exhibit their beliefs and what they valued in their culture. For example a lot of cave paintings and artwork in the prehistoric time had animals or hunting scenes. They looked up to some animals as being sacred and worshipped them as a symbol of god.

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  48. Stephanie Cruz

    I think prehistoric humans decorated objects were to express themselves or to tell a story, and in a way to remember about the past. The prehistoric humans didn’t have a language that was fully evolved so I can only imagine using art as a way to get their point across. Another reason I believe they decorated objects it was because they looked pretty, appealing to the eye to make their homes more beautiful.

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  49. Adara MacDonnell

    Prehistoric humans could decorate an object because it would give this object life and character. It makes that object unique and their own. Why do we decorate objects in our lives? We want to make these objects our own. If we were given a blank wall, and we could do anything we wanted to it, it wouldn’t be blank anymore. Each of our walls would be decorated differently and they would all be unique. We would feel more connected with that wall since we decorated it than if we left it blank. The walls would have life and character, telling a story of the artist behind it. Some would be bright and cheery, and others might be dark and mysterious. Prehistoric humans would have decorated these objects to give them life, to tell a story, and to make them their own. The answer as to why we decorate things is the same as the answer as to why prehistoric humans decorated their own things.

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