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Artscolumbia / Visual arts  / Painting  / Discovery Of The Lascaux Cave Painting

Discovery Of The Lascaux Cave Painting

It is difficult to understand how the early people could paint on the cave ceiling, and the significance of the cave picture. The outgrowth of the cave picture has existed from the Old Stone Age until the early century A.D. ; moreover, there are 1000s of caves found by archeologists in different topographic points around the universe in different histories. Most of the cave picture has the similar type of painting that is largely about the hunting and animate beings. It was in the late twentieth century that the first decorated cave which is known as the most beautiful cave in Europe was found in France, and this cave art, called Lascaux cave picture, has contributed important surveies about the early human civilisation.

As we will discourse and analyse about the cave picture in our authorship, we have chosen the Lascaux cave for farther accounts including the methods, features, and significances of this cave picture. On top of that, one of the most momentous information that we will chiefly discourse is the look of the image related to the prehistoric star maps which was revealed in the recent survey of the archeologist in France.

This research could supply some of import information about the Lascaux cave painting as we included some surveies and analyses of the archeologists. As a affair of fact, most portion of this authorship are derived from the cyberspace beginnings while some are based on general cognition and books.

The Discovery of the Lascaux cave painting

Locating in the Dordogne Valley of south cardinal France, the Lascaux cave is a stone shelter with first-class cave pictures which were painted by Paleolithic creative persons between 15,000 and 17,000 old ages ago in the Paleolithic age, the clip which we know that people were nomad life in the simple societal construction. The Lascaux cave was discovered by four Gallic adolescents – Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel and Simon Coencas along with their dog- Robot. In September 1940, puting out an escapade in Dordogne, the male childs and their Canis familiaris started their escapade with the intent of hoarded wealth runing which they had heard people speaking about for old ages that there is a secret belowground transition concealed hoarded wealth in the countryside around their Gallic small town. As four adolescents walked through the forests of Montignac, their Canis familiaris, Robot, led them to see a deep depression in the land which was covered with the workss that were turning thickly, and the Canis familiaris started to whiff the hole. Surprisingly, after seeing the hole, adolescents thought that it might the manner that would take them to make the concealed hoarded wealth ; as the consequence, shortly after mensurating the deepness of the hole by fliping stones from the gap and hearing for the contact the underside, they decided to research it. Then, when making the dark resistance of chamber, the four adolescents used their oil lantern to seek around chamber by reflecting it on the walls and ceiling. At that clip, what that made the four adolescents astonishing was that many pictures of animate being appeared on the wall and ceiling.

More surprisingly, the ceiling was filled with the cavalcade of animate beings looking to be traveling as in the world ; in add-on, the ceiling was pure white covered with calcite, and the pictures were brightly multicolored in ruddy, black, brown and ocher ( International Committee for the Preservation of Lascaux, 2007 ) . When the lamp was fading, the adolescents decided to acquire out of the cave and went back place, but they promised to maintain this as secret. Not for long, after their 3rd twenty-four hours of find, they decided to ask for their friend in the charge of 40 cent per individual for admittance fee. Subsequently on, they told their professors and experts about this cave. His professor, Leon Laval, gave them two regulations: Do non allow anyone touch the pictures, and, more significantly, guard the cave from possible vandals. After traveling back and analyzing approximately cave at their school, they realized that this cave picture had sealed at prehistoric clip at least 17,000 old ages. Publicly, the cave composite was opened for people to see in 1948, but what the serious consequence from this allowance is that the C dioxide which was produced by 1,200 visitants per twenty-four hours had evidently damaged the pictures by 1955. As the effect, in 1963, with the intent of continuing these fabulous pictures, the cave was closed to public, and so in 1979, Lascaux was considered as the universe heritage and added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site lists.

Fictional characters of the Lascaux cave painting

Every cave in the universe differs from each other even in the same location. However, caves which were built in the same period may be similar or the same. Each cave has its ain specials feature such as characters. For Lascaux cave, Cornwell ( 2007 ) found that it may be the most beautiful Paleolithic painted cave in the universe. It contain more than 1500 images of animate beings, all of them are 17,000 twelvemonth old. In add-on, another one survey found that:

There are merely 605 identifiable animate beings including one android in Lascaux cave. Furthermore, it besides shows the statistic of the all sort of animate being images in the cave. There are 364 Equus caballuss, 87 wisents, 90 ruddy cervid harts, 3 ruddy cervid hinds, 20 bisons, 35 ibexes, 7 felids, 1 bear, 1reindeer, 1 rhinoceros, and perchance 1 musk ox. Besides images of animate being, there are besides over 400 identifiable marks, which include consecutive, parallel lines, asteroid marks, ramifying forms, nested convergent lines, tectiforms, claviforms, quadrilaterals, and complexs. There are besides over 100 points, frequently arranged in undulating rows ( Eshleman, 2009, p.225) .

He so goes on that Lascaux besides has its ain manner for picture of zoology, particularly the ways that ancient people depict the Equus caballuss. We can detect that all house pictures in Lascaux have swollen or big abdomens, little caputs, abruptly in length, animated legs, with coats frequently indicated. He besides adds that the most recognized are referred to the Chinese Equus caballuss. The ground is because it truly similar to horse in ancient Chinese Paintings ( Eshleman, 2009, P.225 ) .

Above all, there are many interesting portion among those images inside the Lascaux cave. One you walk inside the cave, you will be in a location which was called “ the Great Hall of the Bulls ” and you will detect the 4th wisent ( 5.5 metres long ) , which is the largest bull in the cave and was considered as one of the largest representation of prehistoric animate beings ( Mauriac, 2011, P.9 ) . Furthermore, in “ the Great Hall of the Bulls, ” we can see the image of the Unicorn which has two horns. Although, the two horns were drawn closely, so we sometime see it as one big horn like a fabulous Unicorn [ 5 ] . Another interesting portion of the cave is “ The Chamber of Felines. ” Unlike the other portion or chamber of the cave, the chamber of felids does non hold wisents images, but Equus caballuss, bison and felids. There is a group of three sets of two ruddy points at the terminal of the chamber, which was considered as manner of taging the terminal of the shelter [ 5 ] . Last but non least, the one of most celebrated portion is “ The Shaft of the Dead Man. ” That was the image which includes merely human figure in the whole Lascaux. The figure show about a adult male was struck by a bison with his weaponries flung broad and his four-fingered custodies unfastened. The figure besides shows clearly that the individual who was struck by a bison was a adult male because we can easy see his vertical phallus ( Richard White, P. 327 ) . Besides these, there still have many involvement parts such as “ Falling Cow, ” “ Frieze of the Black Houses, ” and “ Crossed Bison. ”

Unfortunately, Lascaux cave was near in 1963 because research workers found that the cave has been in problem. The grounds are because installing of the new air conditioning system in the cave, utilizing high-octane visible radiations, and presence of many visitants. Therefore, merely research workers can travel inside the cave. Later, in 2001, there were some fungus grow in the cave. Then, in 2006, the fungus created some black topographic point on the image and it destroyed some portion of the images particularly the black cow horn and the antlers of the cervid. After this worse state of affairs happened, the Scientific Committee, in 2007, provided the biocide intervention on the countries where have black topographic point. Furthermore, they let the cave remainder 3 month to retrieve. As a consequence, harmonizing to Adenosine Tri Phosphate Monitoring proved that among eleven selected countries, nine selected countries showed the positive consequence, but the other three was non ( Mauriac, 2011, P.20 )

The Lascaux cave painting ‘s methods

As we already mentioned about Lascaux, Lascaux cave picture was one of the communicating method that the prehistoric people used. The picture which is used different colour was interpreted diversely. Therefore there were many elements employed encompass pigment, manganese, charcoal…that kept Lascaux vividly until today.

The chief component used was pigment. Pigment means that coloring-matter used as pigment or dye ( Oxford lexicon ) . The colourss were typically ruddy, xanthous, black, brown and violet. In the Paleolithic Lascaux, there were no any chemical substance to do the colour, yet the colourss were made by the natural substances like clay ocher doing xanthous, ruddy and brown, wood coal or manganese dioxide bring forthing black colour. Consequently, all the colorants were produced from animate being bone and vegetable beginnings.

Furthermore, the colourss that already made were ground up into pulverization. Then the colour pulverizations were assorted up in a pallet which made from sea shell. In the pallet, there were many constituents that will be mixed up available like colour pulverization, cave H2O which consists of high Ca carbonate, carnal fat, vegetable juice and blood to assist it adhere to the cave wall. Furthermore, the Paleolithic people used the hair of animate being ( Equus caballus, cow… ) as the coppices to paint on the cave wall.

To reason, the Lascaux cave picture was creatively formed by many assorted elements that were available environing the Paleolithic life.

The Lascaux cave painting ‘s reading

In general, most of the cave picture was painted in the similar subject although it was in the different topographic points. On top of that, there are three chief classs of pictures that are normally seen in the Paleolithic cave, and those three classs are animate beings, worlds, and marks ( Bradshaw Foundation, 2012 ) . What we could see in the cave are the image of worlds, animate beings, and arms. The bulk of the pictures are animate beings which favor to be painted larger while the other classs are seldom seen in the cave. Furthermore, some pictures are the image of the day-to-day life, societal construction, and the result of the early people invented things. The cave picture has contributed important information about the early human civilisation as its significance has shown about the life during the prehistoric clip. There are many thoughts about the intent of the picture. Some thoughts believe that the prehistoric people painted those images in the purpose of spiritual beliefs as it could convey them luck and success in hunting, and the other thought thought that the pictures were painted to adorn and detect some information about their success ( Marcus, 1968 ) .

If we lean on the Lascaux cave, we could depict that the cave has the similarity with the other cave in Europe in term of significances and intents of the picture. There are about 600 pictures in the Lascaux cave of 1500 assorted type sof animate beings, and most of them are the image of Equus caballuss and bisons ( Mazzaroth, 2007 ) . In the first survey of Max Raphaël, he has revealed the fact that the painting chiefly focuses on the spiritual beliefs, and this thought was besides adopted by later survey of archaeologists. Based on the recent survey of Norbert Aujoulat between 1988 and 1999, the image of animate beings in the Lascaux cave indicates the alterations in clime represented otherwise by the animate beings and phase of the cave ; for case, the cave has divided into several phases such as Great Hall of the Bulls, Lateral transition, Shaft of the Dead Man, Chamber of Engravings, Painted Gallery, and Chamber of Felines, and at the beginning of the phases show the image of Equus caballus that symbolize as the spring while the image of aurochs represents the summer, and stages represents the fall ( Aujoulat, 2012 ) .

The latest survey has exposed that the Lascaux cave has incorporated with the astonishing fact that related to the survey of uranology over the prehistoric sky-map. This survey was indicated by some of the archeologists such as Dr Michael Rappenglueck ( 2007 ) and Chantal Jègues-Wolkiewiez ( Jègues-Wolkiewiez, 2012 ) .

Below are effects of the survey over the field of ancient star maps:

Human existences and the Stars in subsequently Upper Paleolithic

Lascaux cave pictures were created in late Upper Paleolithic ( 15-18000 B.C. ) and known to possess Magdalenian civilization. The pictures would hold simply been interpreted as the elements for our ascendants to execute ritual if there were non any black points in their graphics. These series of black points lead to the find of the first mark of configurations ( cited subsequently ) . Even more astonishing, some people had tried to compare the pictures to a existent sky chart of that period. The consequence is rather amazing when they are matched. So is this account of the pictures merely about the stars ‘ determination? What else can we state about them from these stars?

Early records of configurations
The Pleiades, besides known as the Seven Sister, Hyades, Taurus, and Orion ‘s Belt were discovered in Hall of Bulls ( figure ordinal number ) . Furthermore, Dr. Rappengluck found another configuration, Summer Triangle, on the walls of Lascaux cave.

The Pleiades

The six musca volitanss above the shoulder of Bull # 18 is considered to be a configuration called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. The Pleiades configuration is in the Northern hemisphere and represented in the star map ; furthermore, merely six of them can be seen by bare eyes whereas the last 1 can merely be seen with field glassess ( cited subsequently ) . However, the survey by ( cited subsequently ) found that this Pleiades should be an inset instead than a portion of the map since the distance between the Pleiades and Aldebaran is non every bit near to one another as it is supposed to be.

The Hyades

Bull # 18 ‘s face, a group of musca volitanss around the oculus, which is Aldebaran, is represented as the Hyades configuration. The Hyades is composed of five or six stars that are clear with bare eyes. It besides joins with Taurus ( cited subsequently ) .

The Sanchez

On the caput of Bull # 18, from its horn connects to Aldebaran and the Hyades is the chart of Taurus. The Taurus whose mark is a bull is one of the Zodiac configurations. In the mythology, the Taurus includes both the Hyades and the Pleiades.

Orion ‘s Belt

On the dorsum of Bull # 15, the flecked line is believed to be Orion ‘s Belt. In the ancient narrative, Orion was a celebrated huntsman who with his Canis familiariss liked to travel runing heavenly animate beings such as Lepus and Taurus. In Grecian narrative, he fell in love with one lady but she did non love him and really unluckily, he died from stepping on the Scorpio. His life was so tragic that Gods decided to do him and his Canis familiariss as configuration stopping point to his hunted animate beings. As a consequence, you can see that Orion configuration is near to the Taurus.

Summer Triangle

Harmonizing to ( cited subsequently ) , Dr. Rappengluck has discovered the Summer Triangle on the picture called the Celestial Auroch and Shaman. He someway believed that the eyes of the bull, priest-doctor, and the bird base for Vega, Deneb, and Altair.

The Sky Chart

Further research by ( cited subsequently ) shows some interesting fact that both Bull # 18 and # 15 may hold been drawn to stand for the whole dark sky ; non merely some configurations. That ‘s because most of the lines and points in the picture are good matched with the existent sky chart that he overlaid them. See figure ( no. )

How the Discovery of the Stars Illustrates Our Ancestors ‘ Lifes

The stars greatly prove us that our ascendant is more sophisticated than what we used to cognize or believe because they are able to pull the stars with the perfect place and the distance between one another. Furthermore, the pictures tell us how great and singular their accomplishments were because they could convey what they saw in the sky on the 3-dimensional surface. Compared to the past, people at this century would happen it difficult to paint on rough surface without particular tools. Besides, the painter of these fantastic humanistic disciplines drew the dark sky that can be looked from one sing place ; intending you can merely sit in one topographic point and bask the full sky position on the long horizontal cave walls ( cited subsequently ) .

Aside from their important accomplishments, the stars describe what they believe, how mythology was created, and how they used the stars in clip measuring. ( cited subsequently ) claimed that ancient people during the Upper Paleolithic had a different construct on planets, stars and Moon from our today ‘s beliefs. They thought of them as their God and goddess staying in the Milky Way or heaven. Besides, Dr. Michael Rappengluck said that they arranged the stars and that ‘s when the mythology was emerged since this stars ‘ agreement created what we called configurations. Harmonizing to ( cited subsequently ) , zodiac was founded when the configurations appear before the sundown and morning.

It is believed that the stars painted in the Lascaux cave marked the seasons in the yesteryear. The Pleiades was used to put their one-year calendar. They gazed at the Pleiades ‘ rise and falling in order to tag when it was clip for fall and spring. They set the winter by the auroch and summer by the Summer Triangle because it would be seeable during summer ( cited subsequently ) .