48 thoughts on “ARTH 114 spring 2017

  1. Ryan Kerns

    I think it could possibly be tied to collectivism; perhaps people decorated objects to imbue themselves as part of a cultural group/tribe. One could’ve used decorative symbolism to denote their association with a particular society. For example, in the modern world, we could use the United States flag to announce ourselves as American. In a similar sense, a prehistoric human could use markings to announce themselves as part of a specific clan. It shows that humans are innately cliquish, and may explain the push-back towards globalism and loss of diversity our world is currently experiencing.

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  2. Loriann Wise

    I believe that they decorated objects as their way to represent themselves and what they believed in. Some art shows the social systems, beliefs, and their way of life such as gathering and hunting. It was the prehistoric humans way of showing who they were and who their people were for many generations to come.

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  3. Haleigh Fitzpatrick-Owen

    In a time where there was a lack of a written language, prehistoric humans may have turned to art as a way to communicate information. Oral storytelling was an important part of many ancient cultures (and still is in various cultures today), and it is perhaps possible that imagery was created to accompany spoken words, or maybe even to provide a story all of its own.

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  4. Catherine Ray

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated objects for many reasons but, perhaps the main reason was to express creativity. In prehistoric times there were not as many outlets for individuals to express themselves so decorating an object could have been the only way they knew how, and this also could have been a way for them to tell which objects belonged to them. Not only did decorating help generate creativity but, it also could have been a way to track what they saw around them and these decorative objects may have helped with aspects of story-telling.

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  5. Ben Lyon

    Prehistoric people would most likely have decorated an object for one of many reasons: either to draw attention to something, such as a marking on a wall to inform a friend, to make something more attractive, to make stories, like cave paintings, or to discourage others to touch an object. The primary goal of decorating an object would depend on the object in question however.

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  6. Emily Siegfried

    Prehistoric humans may decorate an object for the same reasons that present-day humans decorate objects: To make them more aesthetically pleasing and attractive to look at. Sure, they lacked the technology that we do today, but prehistoric humans were still humans, after all. Even we as a modern society technically have no real reason to decorate things such as our homes or our belongings, but we do because we want to. Additionally, decorating makes a person an individual and distinguishes us from others. It’s likely that prehistoric humans wanted to express their uniqueness.

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  7. Brooke Coleman

    I think prehistoric humans decorated objects in order to express themselves and their beliefs like many people do today. I think they also did this in order to preserve memories or stories, or to enforce or emphasize a certain point. I primarily believe this was a way of expressing themselves and communicating their thoughts and feelings with the people around them.

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  8. Brooke Coleman

    I think prehistoric humans decorated objects in order to express themselves and their beliefs like many people do today. I think they also did this in order to preserve memories or stories, or to encode or emphasize a certain point. I primarily believe this was a way of expressing themselves and communicating their thoughts and feelings with the people around them.

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  9. Melissa

    There could be many reasons why Prehistoric humans could have decorated objects, but I believe the main reason was to represent their world and beliefs through these different objects. They wanted to document there culture and how they lived as they continued on through life and the way they knew how was by adding specific detailed designs to a certain object.

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  10. Jewel Washington

    Prehistoric humans may have decorated their objects and the areas around them for many reasons. There is the practical option that they decorated to provide information that was useful to other individuals such as details about food, water, or animals. This could also stem into informing others about their tribes or groups by displaying unique information about their personal group.
    There is also the creative option however that they decorated objects simply to express themselves and just because they felt the urge to create something.

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  11. Emma Thomas

    I believe that all humans have the capacity to appreciate beauty. At the time, Prehistoric humans were discovering how to create their own aesthetic. Possibly, after years of observing the beauty of the natural world, Prehistoric humans wanted to create their own version of what they observed around them.

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  12. Jackie Williams

    One can only speculate what the actual meaning of prehistoric art may be. A form of communication could be an answer. Cave paintings may tell a story of where to hunt or where to travel for water. Small portable sculptures could be something that they felt kept them safe from danger, or reminded them of home while they were away hunting for unusually long periods of time. The meaning would depend on what the “painting” or “sculpture” is used. The most interesting part to me is; prehistoric humans didn’t see these things as art, but it did give these people the ability to change the environment around them, whether it was to communicate with one another or help with some task.

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  13. Tea Barndt

    I think the decoration of objects by prehistoric humans was a way to communicate and connect with others. Humans are social creatures and even before written language and other advanced ways of communication people must have felt the need to connect with others in their society. Even today, art is often seen as a way to communicate emotions and ideas that connect deeply with others and cannot be expressed through the spoken word alone. Decorating objects, particularly those that may have a deep connection to a staple of a given society, may be a way of showing admiration or respect for those things and the society itself. It may have been a way of reinforcing societal values and creating a connection between the members of a given society.

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  14. Madeleine Dilley

    Prehistoric humans would decorate objects and walls to tell a story that conveyed a deeper meaning. The earliest cave paintings would depict animals, humans hunting, and deities to teach the younger members of their groups how to function within their society. Before written language, art was used to tell stories of their creation and other myths and cultural phenomena to keep their culture alive through generations.

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  15. Shannon Bremer

    I believe that prehistoric people decorated objects in order to make them stand out or give them greater meaning. For example, by decorating a ceramic or ivory figure with beads, metal, or other pieces it could symbolize someone of royalty or high status. By decorating objects, prehistoric people could also differentiate one another’s work. The different decorations or patterns on the object would act like an artist’s signature, letting others know who made it and who it belonged to.

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  16. Esmeralda Lopez

    I believe people would decorate objects, to tell stories, events that happened or for the sole purpose of keeping some sort of history not written but instead drawn. We have learned many things from pictures carved in caves, things that otherwise would not be known to mankind today. Things such as the way ancestors viewed animals to languages that once existed.

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  17. Michaela Brown

    I think decorating objects was a way of self expression for prehistoric people just as it is a form of self expression to people today. They probably wanted to leave something behind to be remembered by because life for them was so rough and they moved around a lot. Maybe they decorated objects to leave behind as a form of communication so that tribes coming to places they left knew they were there at one point.

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  18. Keegan Wieland

    There are several reasons why a prehistoric human might decorate an object. An obvious reason would be for ceremonial purposes. Just like today, humans decorate many different objects to use in religious, social, or any other kind of ceremonies. It could possibly be something to please a god. Another reason could be an act of expression. Language was limited in prehistoric times, and decorating objects was one way of communicating a message. Someone could try to be conveying how they hunted or maybe the group of people had their own deportation that they identified to. It might be a way of seeking a sense of identity.

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  19. Sean Ingraham

    I believe that the Prehistoric tribes created wall art to display what was most important to them. Perhaps the reason that they never spent time painting the people is because they were too focused on the animals they relied on as food sources and that provided them with warmth. The Prehistoric people probably saw the bison and other animals as sacred because to the tribe, the animals meant everything to them. Whether the animals depicted on the walls were predatory or a food source, the people had an invested feeling about all of the beasts that they felt intrigued to record what they looked like and events particular to the animal.

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  20. Koty Bowen

    I think it shows a state of evolution and success. It demonstrates that we eventually were so efficient at obtaining food and supplies that we had the spare time to decorate and think creatively about our world around us. The artwork we see on ancient pieces like tools and caves depicts what they saw in the natural world around them. Why they do this we really have no idea, maybe to tell stories, to have something to do to pass the time, was it their written language, or maybe just a way to commemorate what they saw as beauty. We can only speculate and assume what the reasons were.

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  21. Kaylee Goss

    I believe that prehistoric humans may have decorated an object as a way of communication. With a lack of written language prehistoric humans would have to rely on colors and symbols in order to make others aware of what they were trying to say. The decorations could mean anything from recognizing a funeral or burial to giving thanks for being able to hunt for food. While we aren’t completely sure as to what it really means to have an object decorated, there are endless possibilities.

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  22. Quentin Bentzin

    Since the beginning of humanity we have felt the need to individualize ourselves. Whether it is making yourself shine out of a crowd of helping your species to distinguish itself from other animals we want to feel different. By putting markings, pictures, and images on an object it helps us to not only distinguish that object from others but to make us think about something beyond its face value. Art, at least to me is anything that has meaning and provokes thought that goes beyond its face value. The ability to come up with deeper meanings for things and to be able to interpret objects in infinite ways is one of the things that makes us uniquely human. Art is the embodiment of our humanity and as soon as we began envisioning ourselves as separate animals we started conveying that through art.

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  23. Louis Johnson

    I think that decorating objects was a way for the people to show the object’s significance to them and their culture. Some particular objects may have substantially more importance than other objects and decoration may have been a way of communicating that. They probably would also decorate objects to identify their own tribe with particular markings and designs.

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  24. Chelsea Hogan

    Prehistoric humans could have decorated objects for a lot of reasons. Perhaps to draw the eye to something they wanted to emphasize, or simply to make beauty out of something generalized as ordinary. It goes to show that humans throughout history have had the drive to create, and during prehistoric times most things worth spending creativity and effort on needed to be useful in everyday activity for survival. Decorating objects may have added a level of significance to them that they could not express in language at the time, and by doing so adhered a different kind of meaning to these objects.

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  25. Hannah Brown

    I think that perhaps these prehistoric people adorned objects to create a sense of identity and community within a group of people. Without any written language it could have been difficult to demonstrate an event or occurrence and therefore art could have been used as a way to visualize said experience. It also could have been used symbolically by a group, or tribe, of people to identify one’s self. One particular group of people could have been represented by one symbol which would have created a sense of community within that group.

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  26. Katherine Kline

    I believe that prehistoric peoples have a variety of reasons for “decorating objects.” Some objects could be seen as a link to their deities or ancestors, others a representation of themselves. Perhaps they distinguish themselves and their different cultures through medium in order to separate one community from another. It is also entirely possible that they just enjoyed creating things, useful or not. Even today people tag the sides of building with meaningless symbols and scribble on the pages of their notebooks.

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  27. Benjamin Collins

    I think it has something to do with an assortment of things. Cultural believes, like what they thought their gods,goddesses and things that go bump in the night look like. Then societal reasons dealing with class, much in the same way we brag about having slightly nicer shoes, even though all of them do the exact same things. Lastly to pass along messages before a formal written language could be created, things like maps, and how to say what berries were safe to eat, what animals to avoid, and other stuff such as that.

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  28. Joshua Jenkins

    I believe Prehistoric people decorated objects for endless reasons, some we will never know. Some reasons could be to honor the gods they worshiped, to bring fertility or abundance of food to their people making these decorated objects to appease the gods. Due to a lack of language as we are accustomed to today, these ancient individuals might have communicated through pictures or colors to show what might be going on in their lives in that era. Some decorated objects we know today were used for ceremonial events such as funerals and burials or to commemorate the coming together of families such as through weddings. I believe one of the big reasons they decorated objects was to keep an account of history as we do today in record books. We may not know what these decorated objects were meant to say but through uncovering future findings it may help us uncover the meanings behind these objects.

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  29. Christopher Duke

    I think that prehistoric civilizations would decorate objects and create art in order to express what was important to them, probably only for themselves as opposed to modern art where it is created to speak to other people. A very raw expression of emotions for personal entertainment without the motive of making an impact on others, even though it certainly would in the future. I also believe prehistoric civilizations could have used art to record history, or perhaps teach their community certain skills, values, or ideas.

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  30. Teagan Sullivan

    I would say that prehistoric humans started decorating objects because they wanted a way to leave a mark. To tell other people stories of heroic things they did. Or to warn others about certain dangers. Like with the cave drawings the people were trying to tell stories. When they left a hand print they were leaving their mark behind. It was also a way to show off a skill. I doubt everybody knew how to use colored rocks or even how to draw a horse in the first place.

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  31. Jenna Banwarth

    I think prehistoric humans decorated objects to represent their way of life. The objects that we have viewed in class so far have represented people and animals that were present in their day to day lives. It is interesting to see how they saw themselves and all the different kinds of materials they used to make them. In one of the cave paintings that we looked at in class there was an intricate looking animal along with a human that looked like a stick figure. I think this was a way to represent how they saw themselves during that time compared to the animals as well as to show how defenseless they were compared to them. I think this was the goal of all the objects that prehistoric human decorated, to show what day to day life was like through their eyes.

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  32. Alexa Steele

    Prehistoric humans could have decorated objects as a way of recording the things that they saw, as well as having the objects serve the purpose of holding different personal or spiritual significance. Due to the size of some of the objects that we have looked at in class, being that the objects were so small they were probably carried somewhere on the person’s physical body, which would lead us to believe that that object held some sort of significance to its wearer. Also, the different cave paintings that we have looked at could have been created as a way for people to document what they saw through images, since they didn’t know how to write. However, different from the smaller objects, the cave paintings could not then have been taken with their creators, when they moved on to a different place.

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  33. Margaret Rush

    I think that prehistoric humans decorate objects for the different aspects of their life and what was important to them. They created a lot of sculptures of women and that showed that they understand how important it was, is, that women can bare children. They also often decorate different objects like rocks and caves with drawings or sculptures of animals which is what they live off of. I think that their art was more of an expression of that they think are the most important things to life.

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  34. Sylvan Brier

    I believe prehistoric humans decorated objects for a variety of reasons. Art could have been a hobby people had that they took up in order to do something to pass time. Prehistoric humans also had a more limited vocabulary and method of communication, so they may have used art as an expression of feelings or thoughts that were too difficult to express verbally. Lastly, I believe prehistoric art could have been created in order to celebrate the focus of the pieces. For example, a statue of a woman could have been a gift from a man to a woman as a thank you for giving him a child or a cave painting of a bear could have been created out of admiration for such a strong animal.

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  35. Danielle Newman

    I believe Prehistoric humans decorated objects to tell others about their lives. Telling stories about what they have been through throughout there time. Even if it wasn’t pictures, like some sort of pattern, that could’ve been a symbol of them or something they believed in. Decorating an object could also be a simple way to just give some character, so the object doesn’t appear as plain or boring.

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  36. Virginia Richardson

    Prehistoric people might have decorated objects in order to record things they saw around them, especially if they were people who migrated often, it was important in order to remember where they’ve been. They could have also decorated objects to represent the things they held in importance, things they thought were powerful, or maybe things they wanted to respect. There are so many other possible explanations for decorating objects but I believe that they did it with an purpose, given that it was a more difficult process than today.

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  37. John Brandt

    There are many possibilities to why prehistoric humans may have decorated objects. They could possibly want to preserve their culture, had significant meaning to them, as a way to pass the time, or as a method of praising some sort of god or goddess. Many of the objects we looked at in class were small, which means they could possibly have been kept as mementos which they could carry around due to their small size.

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  38. Nicole Paladeau

    People decorate objects to make sense of their world. Today, people may consider the future cultural implications of decorations during the creating process. However, it is likely that prehistoric people were not concerned about recording their lives for people to discover 2,000 years later. Prehistoric people decorated objects as a form of communication without a written language, as a means of self-expression, or religious practice. Art such as the cave paintings we looked at in class could also have been a form of storytelling from one generation to another.

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  39. Jasmine Pineda

    I believe prehistoric humans decorated objects for creativity and to express their cultures.

    Sometimes for creativity, sometimes to express their cultures, and sometimes a combination of both.
    For expressing their culture they probably took to decorating objects so that it could BECOME a part of culture, or to illustrate things that were important to them or to convey how they saw certain things.

    There are certain things we see, for example statues of humans, that don’t look proportional to us which is why I say creativity. They used their creative thinking to decorate things to their wildest imagination or like before, to convey how they see certain aspects of beauty/people/life.

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  40. Sidney Britt

    Decorating objects could have been a way for ancient tribes to tell a story. It could have also been a way to symbolize achievements in the greators life. As others have said i also believe that the creators might have used the objects to keep record of their life.

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  41. Peter Vlcek

    In a sense, the reason why might revolve around them trying to record a narrative. Back at the dawn of the homo sapien species, we had little in the realm of a coherent language for most populations, and nothing like a system of writing. Not to mention there was no form of standardization of language whatsoever, so even if someone had a system of writing, everyone’s would likely be very different (in fact, that’s how it was in much of ancient history until the Phoenicians standardized the western alphabet). However, drawings are universal, so by making cave paintings they could have a ubiquitous way of telling stories, keeping records, and recording prophecies, even among people who did not understand their language or speak a language at all.

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  42. Jay Kidd

    I believe that Prehistoric humans decorated objects as a way of recording events or stories so that they could be passed on to future generations much like in Greek pottery.

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  43. Reed Williams

    I believe there were many reasons for prehistoric objects to be decorated. Humans have a natural desire to create. If you give a child play-doh, she will make something. I doubt that creativity is a new thing in humans and these people could have easily been making things for the sake of it. There’s always the possibility of them creating things to teach or to share with other people, but I also think that some of these people may have just been incredibly bored and had nothing else to do, so they drew on walls in caves and carved things. Netflix wasn’t exactly around yet tens of thousands of years ago to keep them occupied.

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  44. Ahad Shahid

    Prehistoric humans utilized decoration as a form of storytelling. Whether the storytelling was utilized for religious, educative, or cultural purposes, art was used to convey the message.
    Decoration is a skill that had to be learned, so storytelling may have been a significant duty in prehistoric times. Written texts may not have been prevalent, but prehistoric humans may have been able to convey messages with their decoration.

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  45. Alan Herbertson

    It has been clear to scientist that prehistoric art served an important role to early humans due to its prevalence in all corners of the world that were inhabited by mankind. The intrinsic value of the art of creation itself was probably tremendous for these people as well as the value this art provides for modern man is unfathomable. It works as a window for modern researchers to look at prehistoric life and human thought from almost 30,000 years ago.

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  46. stephanie overbeck

    A reason why people would decorate an object is to express who they are and where they come from. Some of these people are expressing who they are as an individual but also their heritage and ancestors. All the artwork we have looked at looks different and unique. I think these people decorated the objects to represent their family and their heritage..

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  47. James Gatens

    In my opinion, Pre-Historic people decorated objects for several reasons and it is nearly impossible to tell the exact motives today. Aside from the wall paintings in caves, I believe a major intent of the early decorations was to assign a sense of ownership to an object, or give it a unique personal feel. Perhaps coloring a tool or carving a symbol into it would allow this to happen. There is also the widely accepted belief that decorations tell stories, much like paintings in caves and carvings elsewhere. It is universally accepted that most decorations did in fact recall past occurrences and share stories. I also believe it is in a human’s nature to express one’s feelings whether it is through speech or decorations.

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  48. Allyson Kraft

    From what I understand most prehistoric humans often decorated an object to draw attention to that object. However, they often did so for more than one reason. I believe that they often decorated their objects to tell a story. These stories ranged from what family they were from or possibly what they had hunted that day. It could have also been to show some type of belonging to a certain group or to communicate to other groups through the art. And lastly it could have been to show ownership over an object or place.

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