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Cave of Lascaux, France
Cave of Lascaux
Near the country town of Brive-la-Gaillarde in southern France, is the Cave of Lascaux. The cave is world famous because it contains prehistoric paintings on the walls that date back 15,000 to 13,000 B.C.
When you go to visit the cave don't be upset that the the actual cave is sealed. The cave had to be sealed from the public because scientists found that increased CO² levels in the cave (from all of the tourists) where causing the pre-historic paintings to peel from off of the wall. They decided to appeal to the public by building a replica cave to serve as the main tourist attraction. By using state of the art mapping technology, palentologists were able to recreate the cave with pinpoint precision, displaying the paintings in the replica cave as a near perfect duplicate.
The following video explains in detail the methods used to make the different colours. The documentary offers great insight into the significance of the paintings.
Some modern scientists believe that our caveman ancestors were not as unintelligent as we had once thought. Some believe that star constellations have been found in the wall paintings. If these are authenic, than it demonstrates that our prehistoric friends may have had a crude understanding of astronomy.
Articles written about the Cave of Lascaux
Much has been written and studied concerning the Cave of Lascaux. The following links offers some insight of their significance. Take a tour and see the Cave for yourself you won't regret the trip.
How to get to Lascaux
The Cave is in the small town of Lascaux, France. The easiest way to get there is to take the SNCF train to the Périgueux or Limoges and bus it to Lascaux. The cave is a major tourist attraction so there are always people there to help point you in the right direction.
Good luck and enjoy witnessing the origiins of humankind.
Quick Lascaux Facts
The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures.
Over 900 are of animals. 605 of these have been precisely identified.
There are also many geometric figures.
Of the animals, horses predominate, with 364 images. There are 90 paintings of stags.
Other images include seven felines, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros, and a human.
The most famous images are four huge, black bulls in the Hall of the Bulls.
There are no images of reindeer, even though that was the principal source of food for the artists.
The four black bulls are the dominant figures among the 36 animals represented in the Hall of the Bulls.
One of the bulls is 17 feet long -- the largest animal discovered so far in cave art. The bulls appear to be in motion.