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Cave Art

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dana castrigano

on 1 September 2015

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Transcript of Cave Art

about 18,000 years ago
or Prehistoric art
Cave Art
http://www.lascaux.culture.fr/#/en/02_00.xml
copy and paste to take a virtual tour of caves in South France.
Hall of the Bulls
The images in the Hall of the Bulls are among the most striking and recognizable in all of cave art: 130 figures, including 36 images of animals and 50 geometric signs. This cave is composed of three animal themes – horses (17 individuals), cattle (11 cows and bulls) and deer (6 )
Prehistoric people would have used natural objects to paint the walls of the caves. To etch into the rock, they could have used sharp tools or a spear. The paint or color that they probably used was from berries, clay, soot, or charcoal. The tools used to apply the paint could have been made by attaching straw, leaves, moss, or hair to sticks. They might have used hollow bones or reeds to spray the color on, similar to an airbrush technique.

They drew stick figures for people, but the animals were well drawn, and usually filled in with natural colors, to give them even more shape and substance.
Color
History of the cave!!
The cave was discovered on September 12, 1940 by four teenagers, and a dog, Robot. The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. By 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state, and were monitored on a daily basis. Rooms in the cave include The Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, and the Chamber of Felines.
In January 2008, authorities closed the cave for three months even to scientists and preservationists. A single individual was allowed to enter the cave for 20 minutes once a week to monitor climatic conditions. Now only a few scientific experts are allowed to work inside the cave and just for a few days a month but the efforts to remove the mold have taken a toll, leaving dark patches and damaging the pigments on the walls.
DANGER: When you think cave, you might think of a big place, with high ceilings.

Not so. In order to reach the places where cave paintings have been found, cave man had to crawl on his belly, through mazes of narrow, dark tunnels, by the light of a flicking torch or a spoon-like oil lamp (which had to be hand carried and balanced carefully to hold the burning oil in the rounded part of the spoon - while crawling along on your belly), and carrying the paints he had carefully prepared, with no idea if he might run into, oh .. a cave lion or a bear, on the way.
The other thing found in cave paintings, besides stick figures of people and well drawn animals, are stencils of hands.

It would appear that cave man, after crawling on his belly and creating his addition to these cave walls of art, then put his hand against the cave wall, and outlined it with charcoal or paint.
What were they saying? (I was here? I made this?) Was this a way to sign their art? Or to prove they had achieved their ... mission? It's not easy to figure out because not all paintings include a stenciled handprint.
After trying to determine the depth of the hole by tossing rocks in the opening and listening for contact with the bottom, they decided to explore it. They enlarged the opening by removing a few stones around the edges with their penknives. Then, each one of the four boys slid through the hole in turn, along a semi-vertical shaft embedded with stalagmites down fifteen meters to a dark underground chamber. “The descent was terrifying,” recalled Jacques Marsal who was just fourteen years old at the time, the youngest of the four boys. Inside the chamber they used their oil lantern to look around shining it on the walls and ceiling.

The boys were standing in The Hall of the Bulls. Mesmerized by their findings, the boys ventured to the end of the cave. By then, the light from the oil lantern was fading and they realized they needed to return to the surface.

The boys were afraid of not being about to climb back out of the cave because of the steep incline of the shaft. But, in fact, the climb out was easier than they expected, recalled Marsal. The narrowness of the shaft served to their advantage allowing them to prop up with their knees and elbows, inching along until they reached the surface.

They were ecstatic with their discovery. The four boys promised to return the next day much better prepared for exploration. They swore an oath of secrecy determined to keep their discovery to themselves for the time being. Marsal remembers keeping the secret was harder done than said in families where brothers and sisters, and sometimes cousins, shared rooms with each other.

All four boys kept their promises and met again the next morning. This time they took a rope with them to help in getting down to the second level of the cave, the Well, or the Shaft. Marsal described the descent into the deep fissure as “scary because the rope, which was tucked under our armpits, was cutting the flaky edges of the walls and earth kept falling on our face as we were lowered down into the Shaft.

By the third day of their discovery, the boys could not keep their amazing secret any longer. They decided each of them could bring five friends to see the cave but would charge a forty cent per person admission price. Marsal said that was the first “commercial exploitation of the cave.” Once the word was out, the news spread like wildfire and soon the entire village was lining up to have a look at the newly discovered paintings. The boys enlarged the hole and made access easier for the public.

Overwhelmed by the number of visitors and aware that the paintings were probably prehistoric, the boys decided to seek the advice of their schoolmaster, Leon Laval. Mr. Laval, a member of the prehistoric society of Montignac, did not believe the boys’ description of what they had found. It took quiet a bit of convincing to persuade him that the whole story was not just a scam to push him down a hole.

I can...

recognize cave and why it was created and create my own cave painting about my life!
Full transcript