First we must define what is art? The Merriam-Webster definition of art is something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. I think a better definition is something that is created for pleasing the senses and not necessarily for practicality. However a creation can consist of both artistic and practical features, for example architecture.
There is controversy as to whether non-human animals can make or appreciate art. The earliest human art that we know of is Bhimbetka petroglyphs which are engravings on rock found in central India which date from at least 290,000 BCE which must have been made by a very early human species. The ability to create art increases as the size and efficiency of the human brain evolves. Cave paintings and figurines of Cro-Magnon man dating back to about 50,000 BCE have been found in Europe and elsewhere. In the Mesolithic period from 10,000 to 4,000 BCE we see more sophisticated cave paintings, sculpture, pottery, and jewelry. After that we enter the era of recorded history and increasingly sophisticated art.
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