What Is Neolithic Art?

Neolithic art refers to any arts and crafts made by societies who abandoned the semi-nomadic lifestyle of the Paleolithic era in order to adopt farming and animal husbandry. The Neolithic life changed every aspect of human endeavor and experience, including art.

The settled lifestyle facilitated the development of permanent architecture and ancient pottery. Human creativity was expressed in different art forms, including hand stencils, personal adornments, sculpted statuettes and prehistoric engravings among others. Painters shifted their focus from cave walls to the surfaces of pottery, and sculptors also shifted their focus to architectural sculpture and sculpted pottery.

Because wall paintings were prone to crumbling and fading, very few Neolithic art works have survived. However, pottery painting is extremely durable and several examples of the Neolithic pottery painting have been recovered. Most of the designs are geometric and simple.