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Lascaux cave, France

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Mariel Tagyamon

on 21 March 2011

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Transcript of Lascaux cave, France

LASCAUX CAVE in FRANCE LASCAUX CAVE in FRANCE Discovered by Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Argnel, and Simon Coencasin (also Marcel’s dog, Robot) September 12, 1940 Village of Montignac, in the Dordogne region of South-western France 1979, UNESCO World Heritage Sites The original Lascaux Grottoes, with the walkway built in the 1940s.
Home to perhaps the world's most incredible array of Upper Paleolithic art There are about 600 paintings and 1500 engravings in the cave - depictions of bulls and other animals on the cave's calcite walls
17,000 years ago It contains nearly 2,000 figures (animals, human figues, abstract signs)

The Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, and the Chamber of Felines

Over 900 can be identified as animals, and 605 of these have been precisely identified equines (364), stags (90), cattle & bison (4-5%), felines (7), bird, bear, rhinoceros, human, mammoths, lions, ibex, bears and wolves

One of the bulls (aurochs/black bulls) in the Hall of the Bulls is 17 feet (5.2 m) wide - the biggest animal image ever found in a Stone Age cave
Lascaux II replica of The Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery
200 meters from the original
Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot, France Present Condition 1940
12 September
Discovery of Lascaux

Classification of cave as a Historic Monument.
Work begins to accommodate cave for public access: widening of the entrance, installation of electricity and a metal door.
Lascaux opens to the public.
First signs of deterioration appear in the cave due to excess carbon dioxide levels produced by large numbers of visitors.
Proliferation of algae on the cave walls: “The Green Sickness”. Calcite begins to form over the paintings: “The White Sickness”.
Cave is closed to the public. 1998
Lichens discovered growing inside the cave.
The black spots, some as large as human hands, continue to run rampant in the cave. 2008
Authorities had closed down the cave for almost 3 months even to preservationists as well as scientists.
A distinct individual was permitted to go into the cave for only 20 mins one time a week to keep an eye on climatic conditions.
* The International Committee for the Preservation of Lascaux was formed in 2005 by a group of concerned artists from around the world who admire and value the extraordinary, irreplaceable art work in the cave of Lascaux France. 
* UNESCO Organizations Thank you! Archaeological and Cultural Importance In 1951, fragments of charcoal were analysed. The results, a date of 15,500 years BP or 13,550 BC.
In 1998, and then in 2002, two radiocarbon analyses carried out on fragments of a reindeer antler baton tended to push back the former estimates to between 18,600 and 18,900 BP or 16950 - 16,650 BC.
Significance of Lascaux Paintings This primitive illustration was a product of what may have been the world's earliest civilization, which existed in Europe between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago.
These people were among the earliest, creators of complex visual representations, based on the unique human ability that allows us to abstract the features of something in the world and reproduce it as a representation - tells a lot about the level of intellect.
These cave paintings are deduced as beyond 'decorations'. The caves were used for preserving and transmitting information. Believed to be an intercultural way of communication between group hunters centuries ago.
The primitive inhabitants immortalized their lifestyle, artwork and crude tools via the exquisite and exclusive renderings

Give us an idea of the painter's sanctuary for rites and ceremonies and some serious revelations about their hunting and group strategies.
Lascaux is unique in that a relatively large amount of material was recovered.
The purpose of some of these objects is still unknown – some were used for lighting, engraving and painting; there are also decorative objects, various tools and the remains of reindeer and stag bones.

Oil lamp made with red sandstone (17,000 BP) * Objects for drawing and paintingincludes five grinding stones, three mortars and a total of twenty-three limestone and schist plates, whose pigment-stained surfaces allowed researchers to determine their function.
* JewellerySixteen shells were discovered, most of them fossils. Three are perforated, indicating that they were used for jewellery. Their source has been identified as western France, thus indicating the existence of trade or the movements of groups of humans over several hundred kilometers.
* Lithic objects
Although traces found on several flint tools attest to their use in engraving activities, others can be linked to woodworking.
* Bone material
Objects made of bone include the spears, an eyed needle, an awl, a spall and a modified reindeer antler beam. The decorations on some confirm that they are contemporaneous with the iconography of the walls.
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