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Neolithic & Paleolithic Antiquities

Representing Earth's oldest human inhabitants, the Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures roamed the globe many millennia past. In addition to their landmark societal achievements, Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures also contributed some of the earliest art and artifacts ever documented, from the painted caves in Lascaux, France, to the construction of Stonehenge in England.

Our earliest human ancestors of the Paleolithic era survived based on their ingenuity, using the materials around them to fashion rudimentary tools and to build makeshift dwellings. Artifacts that survive from this period, such as finely honed arrowheads for weaponry, reflect this innovation. At the same time, these ancient objects reveal simultaneous novelty in art forms, such as carved ochre stones, like those found in South Africa's Blombos Caves, that were believed to be used as a form of paintbrush, or small carved votive figures, like the famous "Woman from Willendorf," discovered in Austria.

As human culture evolved, art developed as well into a wider array of approaches and fields. Ceramic pieces, for example, which emerged in the closing years of the Paleolithic era, blossomed in the Neolithic age into diverse traditions across the globe. These early explorations paved the way for centuries of artistic genius to come.


Quick Facts

  • The Paleolithic era, also known as the "Old Stone Age," is one of the longest in human history, ranging between the dates of 2,6000,000 B.C. and 15,000 B.C.
  • Most art objects and artifacts from the Paleolithic Age are smaller in scale in part as a reflection of their cultural habits. Paleolithic peoples were mostly nomadic, so reduced scale objects allowed for easy transportation
  • The key contributing factor to the arrival of the Neolithic era, or "New Stone Age," was transition toward communal living in response to the growing field of agriculture. Planted crops meant humans had to stay in one location, which encouraged the development of communities and, accordingly, increasingly advanced artistic practices

Recommended Items at Auction

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Stone Age Cave Drawing of a Quadruped
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Cave Drawing of a Quadruped
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £500- £700
£46027 Bids
Large Stone Age Danish Knapped Flint Dagger
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Large Stone Age Danish Knapped Flint Dagger
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £1,000- £1,400
£22011 Bids
Stone Age British Grey and White Knapped Flint Ficron Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age British Grey and White Knapped Flint Ficron Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £400- £600
£959 Bids
Stone Age 'Swanscombe' Knapped Flint Axe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age 'Swanscombe' Knapped Flint Axe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£305 Bids
Stone Age Ovate Flint Handaxe
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Ovate Flint Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£555 Bids
Stone Age Polished Stone Flataxe
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Polished Stone Flataxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£504 Bids
Stone Age Polished Stone Flataxe
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Polished Stone Flataxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£454 Bids
Stone Age Classic British Teardrop-Shaped Knapped Flint Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Classic British Teardrop-Shaped Knapped Flint Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £600- £800
£854 Bids
Stone Age Knapped Flint Tool Group
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Knapped Flint Tool Group
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £150- £200
£204 Bids
Stone Age Classic Teardrop-Shaped Knapped Flint Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Classic Teardrop-Shaped Knapped Flint Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£303 Bids
Massive Stone Age 'Happisburgh Type' Knapped Flint Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Massive Stone Age 'Happisburgh Type' Knapped Flint Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £600- £800
£453 Bids
Stone Age Polished Stone Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Polished Stone Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £400- £600
£153 Bids
Attractive Stone Age 'Dordogne' Orange-Brown Chalcedony Bifacially Worked Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Attractive Stone Age 'Dordogne' Orange-Brown Chalcedony Bifacially Worked Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £400- £600
£253 Bids
Massive Stone Age 'Reims' Knapped Handaxe
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Massive Stone Age 'Reims' Knapped Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£52 Bids
Stone Age Pierced Boat-Shaped Axehead
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Pierced Boat-Shaped Axehead
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £400- £600
£252 Bids
Stone Age 'Salisbury' Grey with Cortex Knapped Flint Axe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age 'Salisbury' Grey with Cortex Knapped Flint Axe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£152 Bids
Large Stone Age 'Somme' White Knapped Flint Handaxe
Mar 05, 12:00 PM GMT
Large Stone Age 'Somme' White Knapped Flint Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £400- £600
£202 Bids
Stone Age 'Biggin Hill' Flaked Axe
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age 'Biggin Hill' Flaked Axe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £100- £140
£52 Bids
Stone Age British Knapped Flint Tool Group
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age British Knapped Flint Tool Group
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £150- £200
£51 Bid
Stone Age Speckled Stone Axehead Group
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Speckled Stone Axehead Group
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£51 Bid
Stone Age Flint Arrowhead Group
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Flint Arrowhead Group
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£51 Bid
Stone Age Flint Scrapers with Reproduction Axes and Spearheads
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Flint Scrapers with Reproduction Axes and Spearheads
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£51 Bid
Stone Age 'Warsash' Knapped Ovate Handaxe
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age 'Warsash' Knapped Ovate Handaxe
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £150- £200
£51 Bid
Stone Age Polished Stone Chisel
Mar 07, 12:00 PM GMT
Stone Age Polished Stone Chisel
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Neolithic & Paleolithic Antiquities


TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Setdart Auction House

Setdart Auction House

Lyon & Turnbull

Lyon & Turnbull