X-ray style art

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X-ray style art, sometimes referred to as just X-ray style or X-ray art, is a prehistoric art form in which animals (and humans) are depicting by drawing or painting the skeletal frame and internal organs.[1][2]

The style dates back to c. 8000 BC (-27000 BC[1]) in the Mesolithic (rock) art of northern Europe.[1][2] By c. 2000 BC it (apparently) spread to Africa, South Asia, and Australia[3] where it is most commonly found today[1][2] and specimens have been dated as early as 4600-3000 BC.[4] However, it has also been found in hunting cultures of (Northern spain), Siberia, the Arctic Circle, North America, western New Guinea, New Ireland, India, and Malaysia.[1][2]

Figures can be as long as 8 feet (2.5 metres).[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "X-ray style | art". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2000). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 607. ISBN 9780306461583.
  3. ^ Witzel, E. J. Michael (2012). The Origins of the World's Mythologies. Oxford University Press. p. 271. ISBN 9780199913329. X-ray style... can be found in Mesolithic art in Europe from c. 8000 bce onward and apparently spread far and wide from an unknown center, as to reach Africa, South Asia, and Australia (by c. 2000 BC ).
  4. ^ Tristen Jones; Vladimir Levchenko; Daryl Wesley (2017). David, Bruno; Taçon, Paul; Delannoy, Jean-Jacques; Geneste, Jean-Michel (eds.). The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia. ANU Press. p. 140. ISBN 9781760461621. this study reliably proposes a minimum age of 5068—6636 cal BP for the introduction of early X-ray art in western Arnhem Land rock art.

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