The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







For the French commune in the Corrèze département, see Lascaux, Corrèze .

The caves of Lascaux, in France, contain some of the earliest known art, dating back to somewhere between 13,000 and 15,000 BC.

The Paleolithic cave paintings consist mostly of realistic images of large animals, including aurochs, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. The other common theme of the paintings is human handprints.

The cave was discovered in 1940 by a dog named Robot, and public access was made easier after World War II. By 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by 1200 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 are now monitored on a daily basis.

A replica of two of the cave halls - the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery - was opened in 1983. Reproductions of other Lascaux artwork can be seen at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot , France.

The original caves are located near the village of Montignac , in the Dordogne département.

See also

External links

  • Lascaux Cave Official Lascaux Web site, from the French Ministry of Culture.
  • Lascaux Cave some info on the cave and more links
  • The Dawn of Rock Art. An article summarizing the earliest known rock art, with a focus on recently discovered painted caves in Europe, Grotto Cosquer and Grotto Chauvet.

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04