A term that refers to Stone Age, Paleolithic, and Neolithic art and artifacts, literally referring to the time before recorded history. As the first building blocks of art history, prehistoric artifacts provide crucial insights into the origin of image- and craft-making; they take the form of tools and small objects, as well as a select few architectural ruins. Art from this period was a powerful form of communicating information between tribes and generations; for instance, the Lascaux caves in Southern France demonstrate hunting techniques through the use of basic narrative structure and iconography dating back to 15,000 B.C. Another iconic Prehistoric artwork is the Venus of Willendorf (est. 24,000-22,000 B.C.) a bulbous, palm-sized figurine of a woman, thought to be a symbol of fertility and also the earliest surviving depiction of the female nude.