Amino acid racemization dating method
Mesolithic Period c.10,000 - 4,000 BCE: Northern and Western Europe c.10,000 - 7,000 BCE: Southeast Europe c.10,000 - 8,000 BCE: Middle East & Rest of World See: Mesolithic Art, for details.
Mesolithic was a short intervening period between the hunter-gatherer culture of the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) and the farming culture of the Neolithic (New Stone Age), during which the ice retreated to the poles and melted.
The same applies to archeological sites, containing rock art like cupules, petroglyphs, pictographs and other prehistoric works.
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.
Please note that any compilation of Stone Age art is bound to be both selective and subject to revision as new archeological discoveries are made.
Furthermore, despite the widening range of archeological dating techniques - such as radiometric carbon dating, Uranium/Thorium and thermo-luminescence dating - not every work of art can be dated with great accuracy if the geological environment lacks important measurable elements.
For a sculptural masterpiece from the late Neolithic of southern Europe, see the terracotta sculpture known as The Thinker of Cernavoda (c.5000 BCE, National Museum of Romanian History, Bucharest).
Noted for its metallurgy, including exquisite early bronze, gold and silver metalwork, and ceramics.
The Stone Age ends with the close of the Neolithic.Only recently (2012), we have seen the chronology of Paleolithic art and culture changed completely by Uranium/Thorium dating tests on the cave art of El Castillo and Altamira.In addition, it seems likely that Aboriginal rock art in Australia will also - in the not too distant future - be discovered to be much older than presently thought.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).
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.