This post describes and explains the most common words and phrases used in discussions and descriptions of Prehistoric art and Critical Examination terms.
absolute dating: a method of assigning a precise historical date to periods and objects based on known and recorded events in the region as well as technically extracted physical evidence.
abstract, abstraction: any art that does not represent observable aspects of nature or transforms visible forms into a pattern resembling the original model; also the formal qualities of this process.
additive sculpture: the artist builds up the forms by adding more material as s/he works; for example, sculptures made of clay or bronze.
henge: a circular area enclosed by stones or wood posts set up by Neolithic peoples, usually bounded by a ditch and raised embankment.
medium: the material from which an artwork is made.
memory image: an image that relies on the generic shapes and relationships that readily spring to mind at the mention of an object.