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Cave Art: Lascaux & Cosquer Cave

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When someone mentions cave art, everyone is probably going to assume that it’s art inside of a cave. Sure, they are right, but what kind of art? And why would art be in a cave? Cave art dates back to the Paleolithic era. Many believe that the reason cavemen did this cave art was to tell stories. That’s what is so interesting about cave art. You’re not sure exactly what the story of this world’s history is, but you have to interpret it.

The only place in the world that you are unable to find cave art is in Antarctica.

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Cave art was first discovered when some teenage boys stumbled upon a cave, Lascaux, in France in 1940. These boys had uncovered paintings dating back to the Aurignacian (30,000-18,000 B. C. E. ) and Magdalenian (15,000-10,000 B. C. E. ) periods. It is believed that many of the paintings found in Lascaux were created between 16,000 and 14,000 B. C. E. The first hall in the cave got its name, the Great Hall of Bulls, because the first thing you saw when you entered were black bulls.

Attention was quickly drawn to them because of the great size compared to the other paintings. Also found in the Great Hall of Bulls are pictures of horses, deer, a small bear, and a primitive unicorn. There are other halls which contain paintings of horses, painted in bistre and black, and bovids (a type of cattle), painted in red and black. What’s so interesting about Lascaux is that the floor slopes downward, which caused visitors to see the pictures at a higher level. As for Cosquer Cave, it was not discovered on land, but in the sea.

It was located in France, as well, near Marseilles in which no Paleolithic art had ever been discovered. Cosquer was discovered in 1985 by a diver named Henri Cosquer, hence the name. Cosquer Cave is the only known cave with cave art that is located under the sea. How it got under water was caused by the Ice Age, submerging over top of the cave. There were more than just paintings found in Cosquer. Other findings include: tools, handprints, wooden torches, along with other paintings of marine animals, with a penguin like shape, which is rarely found.

It is said that Cosquer Cave’s paintings may very well be older than the paintings in Lascaux. However, the paintings aren’t as enriched in Cosquer as they are in Lascaux. Mold has taken over Lascaux, along with the carbon dioxide from vistitors, which causes a restoration team to come in about every two weeks. Because of this, a replica of Lascaux, named Lascaux II, was made just for visitors, although it is not a replica of the full cave. It’s amazing to know that there is probably more caves in this world with cave art, whether it is above ground, or under the sea.

Cite this Cave Art: Lascaux & Cosquer Cave

Cave Art: Lascaux & Cosquer Cave. (2017, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/cave-art-lascaux-cosquer-cave/

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