Very little is known about the ambitions or motivations of prehistoric artists. We do know that a vast majority of early cave works feature animals, which, no doubt, were essential to the survival of prehistoric tribes. Perhaps the artists depicted these animals as a way of representing the spirits of the animals, or maybe it was a part of a ritual that would help to ensure the health of the herds they depended upon. Humans are often depicted as well, though in a significantly more abstract manner.


A number of female figurines have also been found in early relic sites. The purpose of these works is unknown, though many scholars believe they were thought to promote fertility.


As agricultural technology improved, humans were able to congregate in permanent locations–we can still see the remnants of these early settlements in Jordan and Turkey. These cities are certainly crude by today’s standards, but nonetheless feature defense mechanisms and places of worship or ritual. In some other dwellings, as in France and England, we can still see megalith arrangements that were likely used as a calendar system, or, as some scholars have surmised, places for religious ceremonies.