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Lascaux -grot

Lascaux -grot

Lascaux -grot is 'n paleolitiese grot in die suidweste van Frankryk, naby die dorp Montignac in die Dordogne -streek, met enkele van die bekendste voorbeelde van prehistoriese grotskilderye. Byna 600 skilderye - meestal van diere - pryk aan die binnemure van die grot in indrukwekkende komposisies. Perde is die talrykste, maar hert, aurokke, steenbokke, bisons en selfs sommige katte kan ook gevind word. Behalwe hierdie skilderye, wat die meeste van die belangrikste beelde verteenwoordig, is daar ook ongeveer 1400 gravures van 'n soortgelyke orde. Die kuns, gedateer op c. 17 000 - c. 15 000 vC val binne die Bo -paleolitiese tydperk en is geskep deur die duidelik vaardige hande van mense wat op daardie stadium in die omgewing gewoon het. Dit lyk asof die streek 'n brandpunt is; baie pragtig versierde grotte is daar ontdek. Die presiese betekenis van die skilderye op Lascaux of op enige van die ander terreine is nog steeds onder bespreking, maar die heersende siening heg 'n ritualistiese of selfs geestelike komponent daaraan, wat dui op die gesofistikeerdheid van hul skeppers. Lascaux is in 1979 by die UNESCO -werelderfenislys gevoeg, tesame met ander prehistoriese terreine in die omgewing.

Die ontdekking

Op 12 September 1940 het vier seuns die jakkalsgat wat hul hond op die heuwel van Lascaux geval het, ondersoek. Nadat hy die ingang vergroot het, was Marcel Ravidat die eerste een wat heeltemal na die onderkant gly, en sy drie vriende het hom gevolg. Nadat hulle 'n tydelike lamp gebou het om hul weg te verlig, het hulle 'n groter verskeidenheid diere gevind as wat verwag is; in die Axial Gallery het hulle eers die voorstellings op die mure teëgekom. Die volgende dag keer hulle terug, hierdie keer beter voorbereid en verken dieper dele van die grot. Die seuns, met ontsag vir wat hulle gevind het, het dit vir hul onderwyser vertel, waarna die proses om die grot uit te grawe, aan die gang gesit is. Teen 1948 CE was die grot gereed om vir die publiek oopgemaak te word.

Beroep deur mense

Rondom die tyd dat die Lascaux -grot versier is (ongeveer 15 000 v.C.), anatomies moderne mense (homo sapiens) was al 'n goeie rukkie tuis in Europa, sedert minstens 40 000 vC. Na aanleiding van die argeologiese rekord, lyk dit asof hulle oorvloedig voorkom in die gebied tussen Suidoos -Frankryk en die Cantabriese berge in die noorde van Spanje, wat Lascaux insluit. Die grot self toon slegs tydelike besetting, waarskynlik gekoppel aan aktiwiteite wat verband hou met die skep van kuns. Dit is egter moontlik dat die eerste paar meter van die ingangsportaal van die grot - die ruimte wat die daglig nog kan bereik - bewoon was.

Die kuns by Lascaux is albei geverf op en gegraveer in die ongelyke mure van die grot, die kunstenaars werk met die rande en krommes van die mure om hul komposisies te verbeter.

Uit die vondste uit die grot, weet ons dat die dieper dele van die grot verlig is deur sandsteenlampe wat dierlike vet as brandstof sowel as kaggels gebruik het. Hier werk die kunstenaars in rokerige toestande, en gebruik minerale as pigmente vir hul beelde. Rooi, geel en swart is die oorheersende kleure. Rooi word deur hematiet verskaf, rou of soos gevind in rooi klei en oker; geel deur ysteroksiedhidroksiede; en swart, óf deur houtskool óf mangaanoksiede. Die pigmente kan voorberei word deur te maal, te meng of te verhit, waarna dit op die grotmure oorgedra word. Verftegnieke sluit in teken met vingers of houtskool, pigment aanbring met 'borsels' gemaak van hare of mos, en blaas die pigment op 'n stensil of direk op die muur met 'n hol been.

Die opvang is dat daar geen afsettings van die spesifieke mangaanoksiede by Lascaux in die omgewing van die grot voorkom nie. Die naaste bekende bron is ongeveer 250 kilometer weg, in die sentrale Pireneë, wat kan dui op 'n handels- of toevoerroete. Dit was nie ongewoon dat mense in daardie tyd geleef het om hul materiaal 'n entjie verder, tientalle kilometers verder, aan te skaf nie, maar die afstand hier kan daarop dui dat die kunstenaars van Lascaux baie moeite gedoen het.

Benewens die skilderye, is baie gereedskap by Lascaux gevind. Hieronder is baie vuurwerktuie, waarvan sommige tekens toon dat hulle spesifiek gebruik is om gravures in die mure te sny. Daar was ook beenwerktuie. Die pigmente wat by Lascaux gebruik word, bevat spore van rendiergeweer, waarskynlik geïntroduceer óf omdat die geweer reg langs die pigmente gesny is, óf omdat dit gebruik is om die pigmente in water te meng. Die oorblyfsels van skulpdierdoppe, waarvan sommige deurboor is, sluit goed aan by ander bewyse van persoonlike versiering wat tydens die Bo -Paleolitiese in Europa in die mensdom gewoon het.

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Die kuns

Die kuns by Lascaux is op beide die ongelyke mure van die grot geverf en gegraveer, die kunstenaars werk met die rande en krommes van die mure om hul komposisies te verbeter. Die indrukwekkende uitstallings toon hoofsaaklik diere, maar ook 'n beduidende hoeveelheid abstrakte simbole, en selfs 'n mens. Van die diere oorheers perde die beelde, gevolg deur takbokke en aurochs, en dan steenbokkies en bisons. 'N Paar vleiseters, soos leeus en bere, is ook teenwoordig. Die argeologiese verslag van die gebied toon dat die afgebeelde diere die fauna weerspieël wat aan hierdie paleolitiese mense bekend was.

Die ingang van die grot lei van die daglig af en reguit in die hoofkamer van die grot, die Hall of the Bulls. Hierdie ruimte bevat die meeste aurochs, 'n nou uitgestorwe soort groot beeste. In 'n ronde dans toring vier groot bulle bo vlugtende perde en takbokke uit, terwyl die reliëf van die mure sekere dele van die skilderye beklemtoon. Die diere word in 'n sy-aansig getoon, maar met hul horings gedraai, gee die skilderye 'n lewendigheid wat dui op groot vaardigheid. Tot dusver is hierdie diere maklik identifiseerbaar, maar ander is minder duidelik. Kyk byvoorbeeld na die oënskynlik dragtige perd met 'n horing op sy kop. 'N Ander geheimsinnige figuur word uitgebeeld met 'n pantervel, 'n takbokke se stert, 'n bizon se bult, twee horings en 'n mannetjie. Kreatiewe gedagtes het voorgestel dat dit 'n towenaar of towenaar is, maar dit is moeilik om vas te stel wat dit werklik verteenwoordig.

Buiten die Hall of the Bulls lê die Axial Gallery, 'n doodloopstraat, maar 'n skouspelagtige een. Dit word die 'Sistine Chapel of Prehistory' genoem, aangesien die plafon die tuiste is van verskeie opvallende komposisies. Rooi aurokke staan ​​met hul koppe 'n sirkel, terwyl die hooffigure van die galery teenoor mekaar staan: 'n magtige swart bul aan die een kant, 'n vroulike auroch aan die ander kant, skynbaar spring op 'n soort rooster wat onder haar getrek is hoewe. Daar is perde in baie vorms, waaronder een wat bekend staan ​​as die 'Chinese perd', met sy hoewe effens agterop, wat 'n perspektief gebruik wat sy tyd ver vooruit toon. Teen die agterkant van die gang galop 'n perd met sy maan in die wind terwyl sy metgesel omval met bene in die lug.

'N Tweede uitgang uit die Hall of the Bulls lei na die Passage, wat meestal gravures bevat, maar ook 'n paar skilderye van 'n groot verskeidenheid diere. In die Nave, na die Passage, val 'n groot swart bul sowel as twee bisons op as gevolg van hul wilde krag, wat skynbaar vlug. Hierteenoor sien 'n vriespunt vyf hertjies wat blykbaar swem. Na die Nave gooi die Chamber of Felines 'n paar roofdiere in die mengsel, met gravures van leeus wat die kamer oorheers. In 'n ander tak van die grot voeg die kamer, bekend as die skag, nog meer materiaal by vir bespreking. Hier, behalwe die gewonde bison met sy ingewande wat uit die ingewande uitstrek, is 'n wollerige renoster, 'n voël op 'n stok en 'n naakte man met 'n regop lid. Hierdie beeld vertel duidelik 'n verhaal, hoewel dit moeilik is om presies te weet wat die verhaal kan wees.

Die grot vandag

Die oorspronklike grot is in 1963 na die publiek vir die publiek gesluit nadat dit duidelik geword het dat die talle besoekers onder meer die groei van alge op die grotmure veroorsaak het, wat die skilderye onherstelbaar beskadig het. Ondanks die sluiting het swamme binne die grot versprei, en pogings om hierdie kwessies te beheer en die kuns te beskerm, word voortgesit. Diegene wat op soek is na 'n alternatiewe ervaring, kan Lascaux II besoek, 'n replika van die Great Hall of the Bulls en die Painted Gallery -gedeeltes, wat in 1983 nC geopen is en op slegs 200 meter van die oorspronklike grot geleë is.


Ontdekking van die Lascaux -grotskilderye

Die paleolitiese illustrasies is op 12 September 1940 gevind.

Een van die opwindendste ontdekkings van argeologie is gemaak deur vier Franse tieners en moontlik 'n hond. Versies van die verhaal verskil in detail, maar Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel en Simon Coencas het op 'n gat in die grond in die bos naby die dorpie Montignac in die Dordogne-streek in die suidweste van Frankryk afgekom. Of hulle 'n hond met die naam Robot by hulle gehad het en 'n haas in die gat gejaag het, is onseker. In 'n ander weergawe vind Ravidat die gat op 8 September en neem die ander drie terug op die 12de.

Daar was 'n plaaslike verhaal oor 'n geheime tonnel wat tot begrawe skatte gelei het, en die seuns het gedink dit kan dit wees. Nadat hulle klippe in die gat gegooi het om 'n idee te kry van hoe diep dit was, het hulle een vir een versigtig afgegaan in 'n smal as. Dit lei 15 meter (byna 50 voet) af na 'n grot waarvan die mure bedek was met verstommende skilderye. Marsal het later gesê dat die afdraande van die skag afskrikwekkend was, maar die skilderye was ''n kavalkade van diere groter as die lewe' wat 'skynbaar beweeg het'. Die seuns was bekommerd om weer op te staan, maar hulle het dit met hul elmboë en knieë reggekry. Uiters opgewonde beloof hulle mekaar om hul ontdekking geheim te hou en verken dit die volgende dag weer. Daarna besluit hulle om dit vir 'n klein toegangsgeld aan vriende te wys.

Die nuus het vinnig versprei en soveel mense het die grot kom sien dat die seuns hul skoolmeester, Leon Laval, wat 'n lid van die plaaslike voorgeskiedenisvereniging was, geraadpleeg het. Hy het vermoed dat dit 'n kuns was om hom in die gat vas te vang, maar toe hy versigtig afklim en die skilderye sien, voel hy onmiddellik seker dat hulle prehistories is en dring daarop aan dat niemand daaraan mag raak nie en dat hulle teen vandalisme beskerm moet word. Die jongste van die seuns, die 14-jarige Marsal, het sy ouers oorreed om hom te laat tent opslaan naby die ingang om wag te hou en besoekers rond te wys. Dit was die begin van 'n verbintenis tot die skilderye wat tot sy dood in 1989 geduur het.

Die woord van die ontdekking het die Abbé Breuil bereik, 'n vooraanstaande prehistorikus, wat gestaan ​​het vir die egtheid van die skilderye. Die opspraakwekkende nuus het deur Europa en die res van die wêreld versprei en in 1948 het die gesin wat die grond besit het daaglikse toere gereël wat uiteindelik elke jaar duisende besoekers gebring het om self te gaan kyk.

Daar was meer skilderye in galerye wat uit die hoofgrot gelei het, en hulle het vorige ontdekkings bevestig, wat getoon het dat, anders as ander diere, die eerste mense in godsdiens, magie en kuns geglo het. Hulle begrawe hul dooies formeel met toerusting vir 'n ander lewe en hulle het moontlik geglo in 'n groot moedergodin, die bron van alle lewe. Dit lyk asof hulle 'n diep gevoel het van die verstommende, van iets buite die mens wat kragtig, geheimsinnig en vreemd is.

Die skilderye dra dit oor. Gedateer tot ongeveer 15 000 v.C., hoewel hulle moontlik oor 'n langer tydperk geskep is as wat vroeër besef is, toon hulle bulle van die nou uitgestorwe aurochspesies, osse, perde en takbokke asook pyle en lokvalle. Vroeë mense was jagters en een van die doelwitte van die skilderye was moontlik om suksesvolle jag in die regte lewe te bewerkstellig. Daar is 'n figuur van 'n man met 'n voëlkop, miskien 'n sjamaan, wat rituele in die grot uitgevoer het. Onlangse teorieë verbind sommige van die skilderye met sterrebeelde in die lug, insluitend die Pleiades en Taurus, of verbind dit met rituele dans, wat transe kan veroorsaak en visioene kan veroorsaak.

Die duisende besoekers aan Lascaux wou nie die skilderye benadeel nie, maar dit was eenvoudig deur daarop te blaas. Die af en toe besoeker het flou geword omdat die atmosfeer so dik was. Kondens ontstaan ​​op die mure en plafonne, vog loop oor die skilderye en korstmossels en vorm ontwikkel. Beligting met hoë krag het die skade vererger en die skilderye het begin verdof. Lascaux is in 1963 deur die Franse minister van kultuur, André Malraux, vir die publiek gesluit, en slegs kenners is toegelaat. 'N Replika van die terrein is in 1983 vir die publiek gebou en lok 300 000 besoekers per jaar. Pogings om die skade aan die oorspronklike skilderye te stuit, duur voort. In 2009 het die Franse ministerie van kultuur byna 300 kundiges uit baie verskillende lande in Parys byeengebring om maniere te oorweeg om die agteruitgang te stop. Hulle aanbevelings is in 2011 gepubliseer, maar twyfel oor die webwerf is nie verdwyn nie.


Inhoud

Op 12 September 1940 is die ingang van die Lascaux-grot deur die 18-jarige Marcel Ravidat ontdek toe sy hond, Robot, in 'n gat val. Ravidat het saam met drie vriende, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel en Simon Coencas, na die toneel teruggekeer. Hulle het die grot binnegegaan deur 'n 15 meter diep skag wat volgens hulle 'n legendariese geheime gang na die nabygeleë Lascaux Manor kan wees. [8] [9] [10] Die tieners het ontdek dat die grotmure bedek is met afbeeldings van diere. [11] [12] Galerye wat kontinuïteit, konteks voorstel of bloot 'n grot voorstel, het name gekry. Dit sluit die Hall of the Bulls, die Deurgang, die Skag, die Nave, die Apsis, en die Kamer van Felines. Hulle het saam met die Abbé Henri Breuil op 21 September 1940 teruggekeer. Breuil sou baie sketse van die grot maak, waarvan sommige vandag as studiemateriaal gebruik word weens die uiterste agteruitgang van baie van die skilderye. Breuil is vergesel deur Denis Peyrony, kurator van Les eyzies (Prehistory Museum) by Les Eyzies, Jean Bouyssonie en dr Cheynier.

Die grotkompleks is op 14 Julie 1948 vir die publiek oopgemaak, en 'n jaar later het aanvanklike argeologiese ondersoeke begin, met die fokus op die skag. Teen 1955 het koolstofdioksied, hitte, humiditeit en ander besoedeling wat deur 1200 besoekers per dag vervaardig is, die skilderye sigbaar beskadig. Namate die lugtoestand versleg het, het swamme en korstmos al hoe meer die mure besmet. Gevolglik is die grot in 1963 vir die publiek gesluit, die skilderye is in hul oorspronklike toestand herstel en daagliks 'n moniteringstelsel ingestel.

Replika's wysig

Bewaringsprobleme in die oorspronklike grot het die skep van replika's belangriker gemaak.

Lascaux II Edit

Lascaux II, 'n presiese afskrif van die Great Hall of the Bulls en die Geverfde galery is in die Grand Palais in Parys vertoon, voordat dit vanaf 1983 in die grot se omtrek (ongeveer 200 m of 660 voet van die oorspronklike grot) vertoon is, 'n kompromie en poging om 'n indruk te gee van die skaal en komposisie van die skilderye vir die publiek sonder om die oorspronklikes te benadeel. [8] [12] 'n Volledige reeks van Lascaux se pariëtale kuns word op 'n paar kilometer van die terrein aangebied. Sentrum vir Prehistoriese Kuns, Le Parc du Thot, waar daar ook lewende diere is wat die ystydelike fauna verteenwoordig. [13]

Die skilderye vir hierdie webwerf is gedupliseer met dieselfde tipe materiale, soos ysteroksied, houtskool en oker, wat vermoedelik 19 duisend jaar gelede gebruik is. [10] [14] [15] [16] Ander faksimile van Lascaux is ook deur die jare vervaardig.

Lascaux III Edit

Lascaux III is 'n reeks van vyf presiese reproduksies van die grotkuns (die skeef en skag) wat sedert 2012 oor die hele wêreld gereis het sodat kennis van Lascaux ver van die oorspronklike gedeel kon word.

Lascaux IV Edit

Lascaux IV is 'n nuwe kopie van al die geverfde dele van die grot wat deel uitmaak van die International Center for Parietal Art (Centre International de l'Art Pariétal). Sedert Desember 2016 word hierdie groter en akkurater replika wat digitale tegnologie in die vertoning integreer, aangebied in 'n nuwe museum wat deur Snøhetta gebou is op die heuwel met 'n uitsig op Montignac. [17] [18]

Aardewerk en afdrukke wysig

Franse aardewerk uit die streek - versier met afbeeldings van die Lascaux -skilderye - is eens in oorvloed in die omliggende streke vervaardig en verkoop objet d'art en aandenkings, is nou moeilik om te vind, aangesien die beelde onder kopiereg is. Afdrukke van die beelde kan slegs in die Lascaux -museumwinkel gekoop word.

In sy sedimentêre samestelling beslaan die Vézère -afvoerbak een kwart van die departement van die Dordogne, die noordelikste streek van die Swart Périgord. Voordat die Vézère by die Dordogne-rivier naby Limeuil aansluit, vloei dit in 'n suidwestelike rigting. Op die middelpunt word die rivierloop gekenmerk deur 'n reeks kronkels wat omring word deur hoë kalksteen kranse wat die landskap bepaal. Stroomop van hierdie steil helling, naby Montignac en in die omgewing van Lascaux, versag die kontoere van die land aansienlik dat die valleivloer verbreed word en die oewers van die rivier hul steilheid verloor.

Die Lascaux -vallei is 'n entjie van die belangrikste konsentrasies versierde grotte en bewoonde plekke geleë, waarvan die meeste verder stroomaf ontdek is. [19] In die omgewing van die dorp Eyzies-de-Tayac Sireuil is daar nie minder nie as 37 versierde grotte en skuilings, asook 'n nog groter aantal woonplekke uit die Bo-Paleolitiese, in die oopte, onder 'n skuiling oorhang, of by die ingang na een van die gebied se karstholtes. Dit is die hoogste konsentrasie in Europa.

Die grot bevat byna 6 000 figure, wat in drie hoofkategorieë gegroepeer kan word: diere, menslike figure en abstrakte tekens. Die skilderye bevat geen beelde van die omliggende landskap of die plantegroei van die tyd nie. [19] Die meeste groot beelde is op die mure geverf met rooi, geel en swart kleure uit 'n komplekse veelheid van minerale pigmente [20]: 110 [21], insluitend ysterverbindings soos ysteroksied (oker), [22 ]: 204 hematiet en goetiet, [21] [23] asook mangaanbevattende pigmente. [21] [22]: 208 Houtskool is moontlik ook gebruik [22]: 199 maar skynbaar in 'n spaarsamige mate. [20] Op sommige van die grotmure is die kleur moontlik aangebring as 'n suspensie van pigment in dierlike vet of kalsiumryke grotgrondwater of klei, met verf, [20] wat opgevee of afgevee is, eerder as toegedien deur kwas. [23] In ander gebiede is die kleur toegedien deur die pigmente te spuit deur die mengsel deur 'n buis te blaas. [23] Waar die rotsoppervlak sagter is, is 'n paar ontwerpe in die klip ingesny. Baie beelde is te flou om te onderskei, en ander het heeltemal agteruitgegaan.

Meer as 900 kan as diere geïdentifiseer word, en 605 hiervan is presies geïdentifiseer. Uit hierdie beelde is daar 364 skilderye van perde sowel as 90 skilderye van hertjies. Beeste en bisons word ook verteenwoordig, wat elk 4 tot 5% van die beelde verteenwoordig. 'N Paar ander beelde sluit in sewe katte, 'n voël, 'n beer, 'n renoster en 'n mens. Daar is geen beelde van rendier nie, al was dit die belangrikste voedselbron vir die kunstenaars. [24] Daar is ook meetkundige beelde op die mure gevind.

Die bekendste deel van die grot is The Hall of the Bulls waar bulle, perde, aurochs, hertjies en die enigste beer in die grot uitgebeeld word. Die vier swart bulle, of aurochs, is die dominante figure onder die 36 diere wat hier voorgestel word. Een van die bulle is 5,2 meter lank, die grootste dier wat tot dusver in grotkuns ontdek is. Daarbenewens blyk die bulle in beweging te wees. [24]

'N Skildery waarna verwys word as "The Crossed Bison", gevind in die kamer genaamd die Nave, word dikwels voorgehou as 'n voorbeeld van die vaardigheid van die paleolitiese grotskilders. Die gekruiste agterpote skep die illusie dat die een been nader aan die kyker is as die ander. Hierdie visuele diepte in die toneel toon 'n primitiewe vorm van perspektief wat veral destyds gevorderd was.

Pariëtale verteenwoordiging Redigeer

Die Hall of the Bulls bied die mees skouspelagtige komposisie van Lascaux. Die kalsietmure is nie geskik om te graveer nie, daarom is dit slegs versier met skilderye, dikwels met indrukwekkende afmetings: sommige is tot vyf meter lank.

Twee rye aurokke kyk na mekaar, twee aan die een kant en drie aan die ander kant. Die twee aurochs aan die noordekant word vergesel deur ongeveer tien perde en 'n groot raaiselagtige dier, met twee reguit lyne op sy voorkop wat dit die bynaam "eenhoring" gekry het. Aan die suidekant is drie groot aurokke langs drie kleiner, rooi geverf, asook ses klein takbokke en die enigste beer in die grot, op die maag van 'n auroch gelê en moeilik leesbaar.

Die Axial Diverticulum is ook versier met beeste en perde vergesel van takbokke en steenbokke. 'N Tekening van 'n vlugtende perd is 2,50 meter bo die grond met mangaanpotlood geborsel. Sommige diere is op die plafon geverf en lyk asof hulle van die een muur na die ander rol. Hierdie voorstellings, wat die gebruik van steierwerk vereis het, is verweef met baie tekens (stokke, kolletjies en reghoekige tekens).

Die Passage het 'n sterk verswakte versiering, veral deur lugsirkulasie.

Die Nave het vier groepe figure: die Empreinte -paneel, die Black Cow -paneel, die Deer -swempaneel en die Crossed Buffalo -paneel. Hierdie werke word vergesel van baie raaiselagtige geometriese tekens, waaronder gekleurde damme wat H. Breuil 'wapens' genoem het.

Die Feline Diverticulum het sy naam te danke aan 'n groep katte, waarvan een blykbaar urineer om sy gebied te merk. Dit is baie moeilik om toegang te verkry, en daar is gravures van wilde diere in 'n taamlik naïewe styl. Daar is ook ander diere wat met tekens geassosieer word, insluitend 'n voorstelling van 'n perd van voor gesien, buitengewoon in paleolitiese kuns waar diere oor die algemeen in profiele of vanuit 'n "verdraaide perspektief" voorgestel word.

Die apsis bevat meer as duisend gravures, waarvan sommige op skilderye aangebring word, wat ooreenstem met diere en tekens. Daar is die enigste rendier in Lascaux.

The Well bied die mees raaiselagtige toneel van Lascaux aan: 'n ithyfalliese man met 'n voëlkop lyk asof hy op die grond lê, miskien neergeslaan deur 'n buffel wat deur 'n spies aan sy sy gesny is, 'n langwerpige voorwerp wat deur 'n voël oorkom word, aan die linkerkant voorgestel 'n renoster beweeg weg. Verskeie interpretasies van wat voorgestel word, is aangebied. [25] 'n Perd is ook teen die teenoorgestelde muur. Twee groepe tekens moet in hierdie samestelling opgemerk word:

  • tussen die mens en renosters, drie pare gedigitaliseerde leestekens wat onder in die Cat Diverticulum gevind word, in die mees afgeleë deel van die grot
  • onder man en bison, 'n ingewikkelde doringbord wat byna identies op ander mure van die grot aangetref kan word, en ook op roeipunte en op die sandsteenlamp in die omgewing.

Interpretasie Redigeer

Die interpretasie van paleolitiese kuns is problematies, aangesien dit beïnvloed kan word deur ons eie vooroordele en oortuigings. Sommige antropoloë en kunshistorici teoretiseer dat die skilderye 'n verslag kan wees van die sukses van jag in die verlede, of 'n mistieke ritueel kan wees om toekomstige jagpogings te verbeter. Laasgenoemde teorie word ondersteun deur die oorvleuelende beelde van een groep diere in dieselfde grot as 'n ander groep diere, wat daarop dui dat een deel van die grot meer suksesvol was om 'n oorvloedige jaguitstappie te voorspel. [26]

Deur die ikonografiese analise metode op die Lascaux-skilderye toe te pas (studie van posisie, rigting en grootte van die figure organisasie van die komposisie skildertegniekverspreiding van die kleurvliegtuigenavorsing van die beeldsentrum), probeer Thérèse Guiot-Houdart die simboliese funksie van die diere, om die tema van elke beeld te identifiseer en uiteindelik die doek van die mite wat op die rotswande geïllustreer is, te herkonstrueer. [27] [ verdere verduideliking nodig ]

Julien d'Huy en Jean-Loïc Le Quellec het getoon dat sekere hoek- of doringtekens van Lascaux as 'wapen' of 'wonde' ontleed kan word. Hierdie tekens beïnvloed gevaarlike diere - groot katte, aurochs en bisons - meer as ander en kan verklaar word deur 'n vrees vir die animasie van die beeld. [28] 'n Ander bevinding ondersteun die hipotese van halflewende beelde. By Lascaux word bison, aurochs en steenbokke nie langs mekaar voorgestel nie. Omgekeerd kan 'n mens kennis neem van 'n bison-perde-leeusisteem en 'n aurochs-perde-takbok-stelsel, wat gereeld met hierdie diere verband hou. [29] So 'n verspreiding kan die verband tussen die spesies op die foto en hul omgewingstoestande toon. Aurochs en bison veg teen mekaar, en perde en takbokke is baie sosiaal met ander diere. Bison en leeus woon in oop vlaktes, aurochs, takbokke en bere word geassosieer met woude en moerasse. Die habitat van die steenbokkies is rotsagtige gebiede, en perde is baie aanpasbaar vir al hierdie gebiede. Die ingesteldheid van die Lascaux -skilderye kan verklaar word deur 'n geloof in die werklike lewe van die spesies op die foto, waarin die kunstenaars probeer het om hul werklike omgewingstoestande te respekteer. [30]

Minder bekend is die beeldarea wat die Bly weg (Apsis), 'n ronde, halfsferiese kamer soortgelyk aan 'n apsis in 'n Romaanse basiliek. Dit is ongeveer 4,5 meter in deursnee (ongeveer 5 meter) en bedek op elke muuroppervlak (insluitend die plafon) met duisende verstrengelde, oorvleuelende, gegraveerde tekeninge. [31] Die plafon van die apsis, wat wissel van 1,6 tot 2,7 meter hoog (ongeveer 5,2 tot 8,9 voet) gemeet aan die oorspronklike vloerhoogte, is so volledig versier met sulke gravures dat dit aandui dat die prehistoriese mense wat hulle eerste uitgevoer het 'n steier gebou het om dit te doen. [19] [32]

Volgens David Lewis-Williams en Jean Clottes wat albei vermoedelik soortgelyke kuns van die San-mense van Suider-Afrika bestudeer het, is hierdie soort kuns geestelik van aard met betrekking tot visioene wat tydens ritualistiese transe-dans ervaar word. Hierdie transvisies is 'n funksie van die menslike brein en is dus onafhanklik van geografiese ligging. [33] Nigel Spivey, professor in klassieke kuns en argeologie aan die Universiteit van Cambridge, het verder gepostuleer in sy reeks, Hoe kuns die wêreld gemaak het, dat punt- en roosterpatrone wat die voorstellingsbeelde van diere oorvleuel, baie ooreenstem met hallusinasies wat veroorsaak word deur sensoriese ontneming. Hy postuleer verder dat die verbindings tussen kultureel belangrike diere en hierdie hallusinasies gelei het tot die uitvinding van beeldvorming, of die tekenkuns. [34]

André Leroi-Gourhan bestudeer die grot vanaf die 1960's, sy waarneming van die assosiasies van diere en die verspreiding van spesies binne die grot het hom 'n strukturalistiese teorie ontwikkel wat die bestaan ​​van 'n werklike organisasie van die grafiese ruimte in paleolitiese heiligdomme voorgehou het. Hierdie model is gebaseer op 'n manlike/vroulike tweeledigheid - wat veral waargeneem kan word by die bison-/perd- en aurochs/perdepare - wat in beide die tekens en die diervoorstellings herken kan word. Hy het ook 'n deurlopende evolusie gedefinieer deur vier opeenvolgende style, van die Aurignacian tot die laat Magdalenian. Leroi-Gourhan het nie 'n gedetailleerde ontleding van die grot se syfers gepubliseer nie. In sy werk Préhistoire de l'art occidental, gepubliseer in 1965, het hy nietemin 'n ontleding van sekere tekens voorgelê en sy verduidelikende model toegepas op die verstaan ​​van ander versierde grotte.

Die opening van die Lascaux -grot na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het die grotomgewing verander. Die uitaseming van 1,200 besoekers per dag, die teenwoordigheid van lig en veranderinge in die lugsirkulasie het 'n aantal probleme veroorsaak. Lichene en kristalle het aan die einde van die vyftigerjare op die mure begin verskyn, wat gelei het tot die sluiting van die grotte in 1963. Dit het daartoe gelei dat die toegang tot die regte grotte tot 'n paar besoekers elke week beperk is, en dat 'n replika -grot vir besoekers geskep is Lascaux. In 2001 het die owerhede wat verantwoordelik was vir Lascaux die lugversorgingstelsel verander, wat die temperatuur en humiditeit reguleer het. Toe die stelsel tot stand gekom het, het 'n besmetting van Fusarium solani, 'n wit vorm, begin vinnig versprei oor die plafon en mure van die grot. [35] Daar word geglo dat die vorm in die grotgrond voorkom en blootgestel is deur die werk van vakmanne, wat gelei het tot die verspreiding van die swam wat met kalk behandel is. In 2007 het 'n nuwe swam, wat grys en swart letsels veroorsaak het, in die regte grot begin versprei.

Vanaf 2008 bevat die grot swart vorm. In Januarie 2008 het die owerheid die grot vir drie maande gesluit, selfs vir wetenskaplikes en bewaarders. 'N Enkele individu is toegelaat om een ​​keer per week twintig minute lank die grot binne te gaan om die klimaatstoestande te monitor. Slegs 'n paar wetenskaplike kundiges mag slegs 'n paar dae per maand binne -in die grot werk, maar die pogings om die vorm te verwyder, het 'n tol geëis, wat donker kolle gelaat het en die pigmente op die mure beskadig het. [36] In 2009 is die vormprobleem stabiel verklaar. [37] In 2011 lyk dit of die swam terugtrek na die bekendstelling van 'n bykomende, selfs strenger bewaringsprogram. [38] Twee navorsingsprogramme is by die CIAP ingestel oor hoe om die probleem die beste te behandel, en die grot beskik ook nou oor 'n klimatiseringstelsel wat ontwerp is om die invoer van bakterieë te verminder.

Op 26 en 27 Februarie 2009, onder voorsitterskap van Jean Clottes, is 'n internasionale simposium onder die voorsitterskap van Jean Clottes, georganiseer op inisiatief van die Franse ministerie van kultuur, onder leiding van Jean Clottes 'n internasionale simposium met die titel "Lascaux and Preservation Issues in Subterranean Environments" gehou in Parys. Dit het byna driehonderd deelnemers uit sewentien lande byeengebring met die doel om navorsing en intervensies wat sedert 2001 in die Lascaux -grot gedoen is, te konfronteer met die ervarings wat in ander lande opgedoen is op die gebied van bewaring in ondergrondse omgewings. [39] Die verrigtinge van hierdie simposium is gepubliseer in 2011. Vier-en-sewentig spesialiste op verskillende gebiede soos biologie, biochemie, plantkunde, hidrologie, klimatologie, geologie, vloeistofmeganika, argeologie, antropologie, restourasie en bewaring, uit talle lande (Frankryk) , Verenigde State, Portugal, Spanje, Japan en ander) het tot hierdie publikasie bygedra. [40]

In Mei 2018 Ochroconis lascauxensis, 'n swamspesie van die Ascomycota -filum, is amptelik beskryf en vernoem na die plek van sy eerste opkoms en isolasie, die Lascaux -grot. Dit het gevolg op die ontdekking van 'n ander naverwante spesie Ochroconis anomala, die eerste keer in 2000 in die grot waargeneem. Die jaar daarna het swart kolle tussen die grotskilderye begin verskyn. Daar is nog nooit 'n amptelike aankondiging gemaak oor die effek of vordering van pogings tot behandeling nie. [41]

Die probleem is aan die gang, asook pogings om die mikrobiese en swamgroei in die grot te beheer. The fungal infection crises have led to the establishment of an International Scientific Committee for Lascaux and to rethinking how, and how much, human access should be permitted in caves containing prehistoric art. [42]


Lascaux Cave - History


Form: Most images from Altamira and Lascaux depict profile views of the animals done with diagrammatic contour lines. (Not unlike the form lines used in Kwakiutl art.) The profile view is the most effective and clear way of depicting the animals. There is no depth or space created and the scale and sizes of the animals vary widely possibly because these were not concerns of the artists nor are the images designed to relate to one another.

Iconography: Bisons could represent a number of things: strength, virility, and or food. The spaces these images were painted in might have been some of the world's first churches or temples. The caves and the ritualized descent into them may have been iconic of rejoining the earth. Rising out of the cave might have been symbolic of rebirth.

Context: These paintings were probably not meant purely as decoration. The technology used is based on the available resources. The artists that made these bison either blew the pigments on to the wall or mixed them with animal fat medium as the medium. They used stones for palettes and made brushes or blowpipes from reeds.

The images were probable used for some kind of religious or magical function and most likely as an attempt by early man to control his environment. By descending into a cave, which in some ways is a sacred womb like space, early humans could paint the bison they were attempting to control. Possibly using the images as "stand ins" for specific rituals. The spaces they are painted in were reused over and over again. The images are layered because they were often painted over by later artists.

Interestingly enough both the sites in Lascaux and Altamira were discovered accidentally. In the case of Altamira, the Marquis Marcelino de Sautuola was not believed that his discoveries were legitimate and this gave rise to the use of scientific method to legitimize such finds.

Why is Lascaux Cave in France so important?

Starting with its discovery, the cave was discovered by a couple of boys trying to find their dog in the early part of the 20th century. The discovery of the cave was accidental, however, it was important discovery in the long line of some earlier discoveries mainly at Altamira but other places as well. The cave is Lascaux France is probably the most important because it legitimized some of the earlier discoveries that might’ve been questionable especially because it was discovered during a so-called scientific rational age not during the 19th century when it would being attacked or at least looked at skeptically.

Other factors that make Lascaux important are mainly due to the amount of murals found in the cave and a couple of small clay objects. Probably the most important part of the cave for a general education is the great Hall of the Bulls. The large chamber contains hundreds of overlapping paintings that were probably done over the course of literally two or 3000 years. The reason why this is important and this also shown at another cave in Chauvet France. You may want to check out “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” which is available on Netflix. I think just the first half hour is worthwhile the rest of the video seems like bunch of religious or mystical crap that the director wanted to get into.

There are two really important sections of the mural in the cave. The first one is in the Hall of the Bulls.

Here are some of the more important physical and visual elements that you should be aware of in looking at prehistoric cave painting. Most paintings in caves were painted using a combination of animals fat and naturally occurring pigments that were made from ground of minerals or ground up dirt.


The Significance of Lascaux Cave Paintings Back in Those Days

Lascaux is located in south-west France. The site has earned international fame as a tourist hot-spot for its prehistoric cave paintings. Situated near the village of Montignac, the Paleolithic art is estimated to be a good 15,000 years old.

Lascaux is located in south-west France. The site has earned international fame as a tourist hot-spot for its prehistoric cave paintings. Situated near the village of Montignac, the Paleolithic art is estimated to be a good 15,000 years old.

Lascaux cave paintings have made Vezere valley in France a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 1979. It is famous for the surrealistic images of animals that research reveals lived 15,000 years ago. They were part of the discovery made on 12 September, 1940. The caves were chanced upon by four teenagers, and their dog. After World War II, the site was opened to the general public. However, the increasing number of visitors resulted in an unprecedented release of carbon dioxide and visible damage to the paintings.

In 1963, the caves were officially closed to the public, with the intent of restoration and preservation of the art. Today, the Lascaux paintings are monitored regularly and the sites have been segregated on the basis of exhibit into:

  • Great Hall of the Bulls
  • Lateral Passage
  • Shaft of the Dead Man
  • Chamber of Engravings
  • Painted Gallery
  • Chamber of Felines

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Lascaux II exhibits replication of the artwork depicted in Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery. Lascaux artwork can also be seen at Le Thot, Center of Prehistoric Art, France. Preservationists from the Archaeological Survey Department have been battling fungus and black mold since 2000. The climatic conditions within the caves are now monitored to preserve the exhibits.

Betekenis

Lascaux paintings are about 2,000 in all and while 600 of the animal figures can be identified, the rest are a trip back into prehistoric times. Geometric figures of equines, cattle, felines, birds, bears, rhinoceros, humans, and stags are dominant. The effect of the ‘bulls in motion’ give us an insight into the precision and dedication of the artists. The Paleolithic cave painters displayed unique perspective in the non-figurative images. The night sky depictions actually correlate with constellations. These ‘visions’ within paintings of humans and the sky also highlight the fact that the artists indulged in the ritual of trance-dancing.

These paintings are deduced as beyond ‘decorations’, since research reveals that they did not show any signs of prolonged habitation. This is indicative of the fact that the caves were used for preserving and transmitting information. Archaeological experts spotted realistic images superimposed for the ‘stampede’ effect. While the images appear linear, the sudden burst of colored and stylized detail speaks volumes for the versatility of brush and dynamic hand movement.

The primitive inhabitants immortalized their lifestyle, artwork, and crude tools via exquisite and exclusive renderings. Their hand at foreshortening, contrasting color schemes, and three-dimensional illusions brings many a modern painter to Lascaux each year. The paintings tell visitors a lot about the inhabitants of the era and the level of intellect through the fact that they used the cave walls to pass on vital information about animal and human life then.

Their sense of aesthetics and prevalent culture crosses all linguistic and social barriers, appealing to even the indifferent-to-art visitor to the caves. The ancient caves give us an idea of the painter’s sanctuary for rites and ceremonies and some serious revelations about their hunting and group strategies. A visit to the site is an intense learning process full of opportunity for the painter to observe and replicate genius in transforming real time agility of the animal world on canvas.

These paintings offer the visitor an understanding of the development of intercultural communication between group hunters centuries ago. The walls display the versatility of the painter through preserved sophistication of hue and choice of location.


Reindeer was considered as the main source of food for the creators at that time. However, the caves do not feature any reindeer painting.

Facts about Lascaux Caves 10: the notable part of the caves

The Hall of the Bulls is considered as the most prominent part of the caves where you can spot stags, equines and bulls.

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The Shaft

(A door, a landing and a ladder have been added, as well as what appears to be a pipe to send fresh air into the Shaft, which often has toxic quantities of carbon dioxide in it. A man's face looking up is at the very bottom of the image - Don )

A difference in altitude of 6 metres separates the Apse from the bottom of the Shaft. The Scene, hidden by a projection of the cave wall, unrolls on the wall facing the descent by ladder.

Photo and text: © Norbert Aujoulat, CNP, Ministere de la Culture, 2004
Source: http://www.american-buddha.com/lascaux.3.htm


This is one of the most studied and argued about paintings in Lascaux. It is in what is known as the Well, or the Shaft, and is reached by climbing down a ladder from the Apse.

The main scene includes a disembowelled bison, a man with a bird's head who appears to have been felled by the bison, a spear, and a bird on a pole.

Was the man a shaman with a bird as totem? Did the painter believe that dead people became birds? We shall never know.

Source: Display at Lascaux Révélée


The shaman and the bison from the shaft.


Beside the panel of the man killed by the bison, is this apparently unrelated image of a wooly rhinoceros, which is a superbly realised portrait of a dangerous animal. The six black dots are of unknown significance.

Source: Display at Lascaux Révélée


The two photographs stitched together show that either the same artist used different techniques for the two panels, or the panels are separated by time and creator. The rhinoceros is done in a more realistic style, with thicker outlines.


(This is by far the best photo I have seen of the man, bison and rhino - Don )

In marked contrast to previous chambers - the Apse, the Passage or the Hall of the Bulls - the Shaft includes only a limited number of figures, eight in total. Four are animals (horse, bison, rhino and bird), while three are geometric signs.

In the centre of this composition, a human figure attracts all the attention, although only in its relation to the animals around it. This is one of the few scenes which invites the spectator to construct a story to explain what the artist has depicted.

Text: Translated and adapted from http://www.lascaux.culture.fr/


Another version of the rhino, from 1947, when Time Magazine visited Lascaux and took the first good photographs of the cave.

Photo: © Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images, http://life.time.com/culture/inside-lascaux-rare-unpublished/#8


Black horse in the Shaft. This is the only figure on this part of the wall. It is a mediocre work, when we compare it to the masterpieces of the main part of the Lascaux caves, since it is limited to the head of a horse, the neck, and the start of the back.

Note that the drawings in the Shaft were drawn using only the black pigment, manganese dioxide.

Text: Translated and adapted from http://www.lascaux.culture.fr/


While studying the Shaft Scene in 1957, Glory reported discovering some new engravings near and in the painting: a small bovine head above the bison's tail, and a large horse head with its muzzle crossing the bison's upper foreleg.

These are documented on pp 290-291 of Lascaux inconnue ( Leroi-Gourhan et Allain, 1979 ).

In 1975 A. Leroi-Gourhan and others re-examined the Shaft's wall to confirm or dispute these quite unusual findings. They were unable to find any evidence for the existence of such engravings.


An oil lamp (a deer fat lamp), found in the sediments in the floor of the Shaft at Lascaux cave in Montignac, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France. Magdalenian culture, 17 000 BP. It can be viewed in the National Prehistory Museum in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.

The red sandstone lamp was found by Abbé André Glory at Lascaux. André Leroi-Gourhan, said in 1982 that Abbé Glory was the man who best knew Lascaux.

Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons license, photographer Sémhur, 25 September 2009
Source: Original on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac


The lamp is just as beautifully completed on the back as the front. Note the layers of sandstone symmetrically circling the bowl of the lamp.

Source: Original on display at Le Musée National de Préhistoire, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac


Another version of the lamp of rose-coloured sandstone, found at the foot of the Shaft Scene during excavations by Andre Glory, 1959. It bears two signs on the upper face of the handle.

Photo and text: http://www.american-buddha.com/lascaux.4a.htm

Glory's most spectacular find in the Shaft was a lamp (bruloir ) in a ground layer below the tail of the rhinoceros. "Shaped like a large spoon made of red sandstone, 8 3 /4 inches long by 4 3 /16 inches wide and 1 1 /4 inches thick, the lamp is finely polished and symmetrical. Its shallow oval cup serves as a receptacle for fuel. It has a capacity of two fluid ounces. The upper surface of the handle is decorated with two abstract signs of chevrons fitted into each other, such as are found painted or engraved in various parts of the cave."

When the lamp was discovered, 'it still contained sooty substances grouped in a circle at the bottom of the cup on a magma of fine dust' These particles were tested and determined to be the remains of a juniper wick used for ignition.

It is from the Magdalenian culture, 17 000 BP. It can be viewed in the National Prehistory Museum in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. Shaped like a large spoon made of red sandstone, 8 3/4 inches long by 4 3/16 inches wide and 1 1/4 inches thick, the lamp is finely polished and symmetrical. Its shallow oval cup serves as a receptacle for fuel.

The upper surface of the handle is decorated with two abstract signs of chevrons fitted into each other, such as are found painted or engraved in various parts of the cave. When the lamp was discovered, it still contained sooty substances grouped in a circle at the bottom of the cup. These particles were tested and determined to be the remains of a juniper wick used for ignition.


Alain Roussot and André Glory at Lascaux, 1953

( Note that in this photo André Glory is using a translucent medium directly on the surface of the cave, in order to trace the image - Don )


Lascaux IV

Interior of Lascaux IV

Lascaux III, another version of the replicas, now tours museums around the world while Lascaux IV was opened in 2016. This enormous complex, built into the mountainside, overlooks the site and the town of Montignac and comprises of a new multi-media museum and a number of reproductions of further tunnels and entrances to the original cave.

Lascaux IV and its high-tech touch screens are a far-cry from the caves that Robot the dog found himself lost in on that September morning in 1940. However, the site remains an enduring monument to exploration, discovery and the perennial importance of art.


Lascaux Cave - History

Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in south-western France famous for its Palaeolithic cave paintings. These paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old.

They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at returned to the scene with three friends, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, and entered the cave by means of a long shaft.

The teenagers discovered that the cave walls were covered with depictions of animals. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state and were monitored daily.

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.

In the late 1950s the appearance of lichens and crystals on the walls led to closure of the caves in 1963. This led to restriction of access to the real caves to a few visitors every week, and the creation of a replica cave for visitors to Lascaux.

In 2001, the authorities in charge of Lascaux changed the air conditioning system which resulted in regulation of the temperature and humidity. Estimated to be up to 20,000 years old, the paintings consist primarily of large animals, once native to the region.

Lascaux is located in the Vézère Valley where many other decorated caves have been found since the beginning of the 20th century (for example Les Combarelles and Font-de-Gaume in 1901, Bernifal in 1902).

Lascaux is a complex cave with several areas (Hall of the Bulls, Passage gallery). It was discovered on 12 September 1940 and given statutory historic monument protection in December of the same year.

There are no images of reindeer, even though that was the principal source of food for the artists. A painting referred to as ‘The Crossed Bison’, found in the chamber called the Nave, is often held as an example of the skill of the Palaeolithic cave painters. The crossed hind legs show the ability to use perspective.

Since the year 2000, Lascaux has been beset with a fungus, variously blamed on a new air conditioning system that was installed in the caves, the use of high-powered lights, and the presence of too many visitors.

As of 2006, the situation became even graver – the cave saw the growth of black mould. The pigments used to paint Lascaux and other caves were derived from readily available minerals and include red, yellow, black, brown, and violet. No brushes have been found, so in all probability the broad black outlines were applied using mats of moss or hair, or even with chunks of raw colour.

Almost every square inch of its limestone walls and ceiling are covered with overlapping petroglyphs in the form of engraved drawings. In all, there are more than one thousand figures: some 500 animals (mostly deer) and 600 geometric signs or other abstract markings.

The Apse accounts for more than half of the decorative art in the entire cave. Curiously, the greatest density of images occurs in the deepest part of the chamber where the Apse meets the Shaft.


Early Humans Made Animated Art

S tone steps descended into the ground, and I walked down them slowly as if I were entering a dark movie theater, careful not to stumble and disrupt the silence. Once my eyes adjusted to the faint light at the foot of the stairs, I saw that I was standing in the open chamber of a cave.

Where the limestone wall arched into the ceiling was a line of paintings and drawings of animals running deeper into the cave. The closest image resembled a bison, with elongated horns and U-shaped markings on its side. The bison followed several horses painted solid black like silhouettes above them was an earthy-red horse with a black head and mane. In front of that was a very large bison head that was completely out of scale with respect to the other images.

It was the summer of 1995, and in the dim glow, I gazed at the ghostly parade just as my ancestors did roughly 21,000 years ago. Radiocarbon dates from Lascaux cave suggest the art is from that period, a time when wooly mammoths still roamed across Europe and people survived by hunting them and other large game. I stood in silence as I tried to decode the work of the ancient people who had come here to express something of their world.

When Lascaux cave was discovered in 1940, more than 100 small stone lamps that once burned grease from rendered animal fat were found throughout its chambers. Unfortunately, no one recorded where the lamps had been placed in the cave. At the time, archeologists did not consider how the brightness and the location of lights altered how the paintings would have been viewed. In general, archeologists have paid considerably less attention to how the use of fire for light affected the development of our species, compared to the use of fire for warmth and cooking. But now in Lascaux and other caves across the region, that’s changing.

In Search of the First Human Home

What is home? This is a deceptively simple question. Is it the place where you were born? Is it where you happen to live right now? Does it have to be a dwelling, or can it be a spot on. LEES MEER

A rtists at Lascaux used fire to see inside caves, but the glow and flicker of flames may also have been integral to the stories the paintings told. “Today, when you light the whole cave, it is very stupid because you kill the staging,” says Jean-Michel Geneste, Lascaux’s curator, the director of France’s National Center of Prehistory, and the head of the archaeological project I worked on that summer. Worse yet, most people only see cave paintings in cropped photographs that are evenly lit with lights that are strong and white. According to Geneste, this removes the images from the context of the story they were meant to tell and makes the colors in the paintings colder, or bluer, than Paleolithic people would have seen them.

Reconstructions of the original grease lamps produce a circle of light about 10 feet in diameter, which is not much larger than many images in the cave. Geneste believes that early artists used this small area of light as a story-telling device. “It is very important: the presence of the darkness, the spot of yellow light, and inside it one, two, three animals, no more,” Geneste says. “That’s a tool in a narrative structure,” he explains. Just as a sentence generally describes a single idea, the light from a grease lamp would illuminate a single part of a story. Whatever tales may have been told inside Lascaux have been lost to history, but it is easy to imagine a person moving their fire-lit lamp along the walls as they unraveled a story step-by-step, using the darkness as a frame for the images inside a small circle of firelight.

Geneste supports his hypothesis by pointing to the various sizes of animals. “If you want to have several animals in a narrative relationship it is necessary to have them small,” he says. “If you want only one animal, you make them big.” If Geneste is right, the paintings I saw in the Hall of Bulls could have been read like a comic strip, as a series of frames: first the bison, then two black horses, more horses, a focus on the bison, and so on down the length of the chamber.

“When you light the whole cave, it is very stupid because you kill the staging.”

What’s more, a flickering flame in the cave may have conjured impressions of motion like a strobe light in a dark club. In low light, human vision degrades, and that can lead to the perception of movement even when all is still, says Susana Martinez-Conde, the director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. The trick may occur at two levels one when the eye processes a dimly lit scene, and the second when the brain makes sense of that limited, flickering information.

Physiologically, our eyes undergo a switch when we slip into darkness. In bright light, eyes primarily rely on the color-sensitive cells in our retinas called cones, but in low light the cones don’t have enough photons to work with and cells that sense black and white gradients, called rods, take over. That’s why in low light, colors fade, shadows become harder to distinguish from actual objects, and the soft boundaries between things disappear. Images straight ahead of us look out of focus, as if they were seen in our peripheral vision. The end result for early humans who viewed cave paintings by firelight might have been that a deer with multiple heads, for example, resembled a single, animated beast. A few rather sophisticated artistic techniques enhance that impression. One is found beyond the Hall of Bulls, where the cave narrows into a long passage called the Nave.

Freeze Frame: Five stag heads in the Nave region of Lascaux cave might represent a single stag in different stages of motion. Photo by Norbert Aujoulat

H igh on the Nave’s right wall, an early artist had used charcoal to draw a row of five deer heads. The images are almost identical, but each is positioned at a slightly different angle. Viewed one at a time with a small circle of light moving right to left, the images seem to illustrate a single deer raising and lowering its head as in a short flipbook animation.

Marc Azéma, a Paleolithic researcher and filmmaker at the University of Toulouse in France, has studied dozens of examples of ancient images that were meant to imply motion and has found two primary techniques that Paleolithic artists used to do this. The first is juxtaposition of successive images—the technique used for the deer head—and the second is called superimposition. Rather than appearing in sequence, variations of an image pile on top of one another in superimposition to lend a sense of motion. Superimposition can be seen in caves across France and Spain, but some of the oldest examples come from Chauvet cave in France’s Ardèche region. Burned wood and charcoal streaks along Chauvet’s walls indicate that campfires and pine torches lit the cave.

At 32,000 years old, the oldest paintings at Chauvet cave are about 10,000 years older than those at Lascaux, but they are no less accomplished. One of the most extensive images in the cave is the “Grand Panneau,” a large panel that shows lions, rhinoceroses, bison, horses, and a wooly mammoth. Azéma explains that the panel may relate two separate narratives of lions stalking prey. Near the center of the panel is a charcoal drawing of a rhinoceros that seems to have seven or eight horns, as well as several backs. The rhinos look as if they are piled on top of one another, but Azéma has teased apart each section of the image to show that it could in fact be one rhino in varied positions. In this superimposition, he says, the rhino raises and lowers its horn. Azéma refers to these images as the beginning of cinema because they depict both narrative and motion.

Ancient herd: Running horses, cattle, and deer line the walls in the Hall of the Bulls at Lascaux cave. Photo by Norbert Aujoulat

D uring my visit, the light inside Lascaux shined steady and just strong enough for me to make out the colors in the rock walls and the paintings. We were only permitted to stay for about 20 minutes, which was enough time to see all the images except for a few that are difficult to reach. Preserving the artwork there has been a constant battle. Intermittently since 2001, Lascaux has been closed due to infestations of molds and fungus that threaten many of the paintings. One type of black mold even seems to feed on the light that people bring into the cave.

I had stood in the Nave with barely enough room to turn around without brushing against the walls. Looking at the art felt like reading a partially translated language. The shapes of the animals were familiar, but their meaning was obscured by the distance between my mind and those of 21,000 years ago. Paleolithic art may have been spiritual—prayers for a successful hunt—or maybe they related specific events—the time when a pride of lions hunted a large rhinoceros. Or perhaps it was like modern-day art, and fulfilled a variety of roles that aren’t easily put into categories. Even though the images were mostly of animals, what the art conveyed to me was humanness. The images were an attempt to express a reaction to a dynamic environment. Now that we live in a halogen and LED lit world, it’s easy to forget that the way we illuminate the world affects how we see it.

Zach Zorich is a freelance science journalist and contributing editor at Argeologie tydskrif.


Kyk die video: BiszRadex - Lascaux (Januarie 2022).