Cave Painting with SAW YAC
Members of Saturday Archaeology Workshops YAC (SAW YAC) from Bedford have been looking back to some of the earliest art we have discovered and creating their own cave paintings.
What are cave paintings?
Cave paintings have been found all around for at least 35,000 years and have been found all around the world. They usually show hunting scenes, hand stencils or abstract patterns. Archaeologists aren't sure why people painted them but there are lots of different ideas. Cave paintings are often in hard to reach parts of a cave and would have taken a lot of effort so they were clearly important. People would need to make the paints using things they found in nature, then find a way to paint onto the wall. Some archaeologists think they might even have used hollow bird bones to blow the paint on around their hands.
Making a cave (and painting it!)
The members built their own cave out of papier mache, chicken wire and brown paper. Each member then had lots of different materials, such as soil, clay, chalk and charcoal, which they ground into powder just like people would have done in prehistoric times. They mixed this with PVA glue (less smelly than the animal fat that would have been used!) and painted their own figures and scenes onto the cave wall they had made.
Have a go at cave painting
Why not have a go at making your own cave paintings? Or you could try another kind of rock art called petroglyphs.
Saturday Archaeology Workshops YAC is based at The Higgins in Bedford. If you'd like to get in touch, please click the link here.
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