The archaeological record of the area demonstrates that the portrayed animals correspond to the fauna known to these Palaeolithic people. The cave's entrance goes away from the light and directly into the cave's main chamber, the Hall of the Bulls. Inside, you can see more than 1000 drawings painted on the walls and ceilings by various artists over a period of several hundred years. They show animals such as bison, horses, elk, lions, and others.
The discovery of the Lascaux cave in 1940 was a complete surprise to the world of archaeology. The paintings were discovered by chance during construction work on a road near the village of Lascaux. The site has been visited by more than 3 million people from all over the world since its inauguration in 1954.
People come from all over the world to see the Lascaux cave paintings because they offer a unique view into prehistoric life. The artists who painted the images used different techniques including paint brushes, sticks, and even their fingers to create pictures that are almost 25 thousand years old.
Lascaux is only one of many similar sites around France where you can see some of the earliest evidence of human creativity. Other famous examples include the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave in Ardeche and Altamira in Spain.
Rather of representing simply the usual herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, such as horses, aurochs, and mammoths, the Chauvet Cave walls exhibit a variety of predatory creatures, including cave lions, leopards, bears, and cave hyenas. There are also rhinocerose paintings. The animals are depicted in black and white, using only their shapes; no details are visible.
The Chauvet Cave is located in the Ardèche region of France. It was discovered in 1994 by a group of speleologists from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeology (Inrap). Since then, it has become one of the most important archaeological sites for paleo-anthropologists. The first evidence that humans had visited this part of Europe dates back to 40,000 years ago. But it was not until about 30,000 years ago that they started decorating the walls with animal images.
Artists have been able to create accurate pictures of animals that were already extinct to begin with, because they used other sources of information to guess at what these animals might have looked like. So we can imagine how hard it must have been to get a clear picture of a lion or a bear!
Even though there are some differences between species, such as the size of their bodies or the shape of their heads, all the animals at Chauvet appear to be real models painted from life.
Cave paintings depict a variety of creatures, including cattle (some measuring four meters in length), goats, felines, horses, and deer with geometric forms, among others. Scholars feel that the location might be a form of sanctuary, but nothing solid can be established about its chronology, which uses carbon 14 to approximate a date. The style of art is similar to that found in other parts of Europe at this time.
Geometric figures are commonly found in many different cultures' art works. They are often used to portray nature or as part of religious rituals. There are several theories on why certain figures are geometrical. Some believe that they are symbols meaning something spiritual while others say that they are just for fun!
In the Lascaux cave paintings, scholars have suggested that the figures may have been used to worship God or as part of ritual ceremonies because they are mostly found together: some authors even go so far as to call them "mysterious markers" since no clear purpose has been discovered yet for their presence there. Other animals are also depicted in the cave paintings, such as bison, horses, elk, and cows. They seem to have been living there at the same time as people, since human footprints have been found next to theirs.
According to some historians, people started making cave drawings around 30,000 years ago when climate change caused the first caves to appear.
The drawings in the cave were so well preserved because it is thought that a rock fall some 13,000 years ago blocked off the entrance to people. In addition to the colors, the painters exploited the natural contours of the rocks in the cave to create the appearance of three-dimensional creatures. The lack of vegetation inside the cave probably helped preserve the images.
The Lascaux cave paintings are considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Europe. They date back to around 15,000 years ago and cover an area of more than 1,000 square meters (10,500 sq ft). The paintings consist of animals drawn with charcoal on the walls and ceilings of the caves. There are several groups of paintings divided by period; each group corresponds to a new wave of creativity from the artists.
The discovery of the cave paintings in 1940 caused such a sensation because nobody knew about them until then. Even today, many people visit the site every year to see the paintings for themselves.
The Lascaux cave paintings are located in southern France near Montigny-lès-Gonnet. There are no signs indicating the presence of the cave paintings and the site is not open to the public, but you can find information about how to get there here: http://www.lascaux.fr/en/.
A special type of paint was used to draw the animals.