One of the first mediums from which the caveman communicated with us in this age and time was the “caves” with a handful of natural pigment created from minerals. Now if we want to communicate with others, we talk or write, but wait! Wasn’t the caveman unable to read or write at that time? So, how did he leave us with so many stories of what he saw? Or what he did at that time before recorded history. The answer is simple by his “paintings” displaying his marvelous observation and drawing skills. Many of the famous caves around the world give us tons of information about how the early man felt, thought and saw and some of these caves are caves of Altamira, Lascaux and Chauvet.
CAVES OF ALTAMIRA
The caves of Altamira were discovered by a hunter in 1868 in the region of Cantabria, Spain. The caves are by far the first ones to be discovered by man and approximately 36,000 years old.
In these caves, the drawings and paintings were so detailed and skillfully made that the caves were rejected by being prehistoric due to not enough evidence and measures to prove its authenticity.
For a long time, the caves were neglected until in 1902 on the discovery of other prehistoric place scientists approved that the caves of Altamira were prehistoric.
The caves contain the paintings and drawings of animals, human hands and local fauna made from polychromatic pigments and charcoal. The pigment used were hematite, ochre, and charcoal that the artist at that time used and created the outstanding effect of Chiaroscuro.
The polychrome ceiling is the most impressive part of the caves depicting Steppe Bison that are now extinct, a horse, a doe and a wild boar.
These complex caves are located in southern France near the village of Montignac. The caves date back to 17,000 years containing over 600 parietal wall paintings. The painting in the caves includes mostly the large and typical fauna that were existent at that time.
Lascaux caves were discovered in 1940 by a group of children. The cave is famous for The Great Hall of Bulls, where we can see the stags, equines, and bulls. The pigments used here were red, yellow and black made from minerals.
The cave has a total of 900 paintings out of which 605 have been identified. Apart from bulls, equines, and stags, several other animal paintings are found that are seven felines, a bird, a bear, a human, and rhinoceros.