Sunday, 7 February 2016

Grotte de Lascaux: The Famous Prehistoric Cave Printing

Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves is the France most famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings.  The cave contains some of best known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are believed to be 18000 years old. The paintings primarily comprises of large images of animals. It is thought, these are best known fossil evidence to have lived in this area at that time. Therefore, in 1979 the cave was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list along with other prehistoric sites in the Vézère valley. The figures, which can be grouped into three main categories: animals, human figures, and abstract signs. Lascaux cave has often been referred to well-known for their artistry, more than 2000-strong menagerie of animal images are depicted in Technicolor shades of red, black, yellow and brown, ranging from reindeer, aurochs, mammoths and horses to a monumental 5.5m-long bull, the largest single cave drawing ever found. 

The cave was totally sealed and protected for ages; until 1940 it was discovered by four teenaged boys out searching for their lost dog. It comprises a massive network of chambers well decorated with the most complex prehistoric paintings ever found. In 1948, the original cave was opened for visitors, but within 15 years it became apparent that human breath, temperature changes and introduced elements were causing irrevocable damage, and the cave was closed in 1963. Carbon dating has shown that the paintings are still a mystery why the prehistoric painters consumed so much time and efforts to their creation, and why this specific site seems to have been so significant. Moreover, the most famous section of the cave is “The Great Hall of the Bulls” where bulls, equines, and stags are depicted.