?The Lascaux Cave was first discovered on the 12th of September 1940 CE (Common Era), as four young boys examined a fox hole that their dog has fallen into. After entering, the boys constructed a lamp and started looking around. they found a wider variety of animals than expected; in the Axial Gallery they first encountered the depictions on the walls. The following day they returned, better prepared this time, and explored deeper parts of the cave. The boys, in awe of what they had found, told their teacher, after which the process towards excavating the cave was set in motion.
By 1948 CE the cave was ready to be opened to the public. ? Estimated to be up to 20,000 years old, the paintings consist primarily of large animals, once native to the region. many other decorated caves have been found since the beginning of the 20th century. Lascaux is a complex cave with several areas (Hall of the Bulls, Passage gallery). The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories – animals, human figures and abstract signs. Most of the major images have been painted onto the walls using mineral pigments although some designs have also been incised into the stone.? ? The contribution they made in modern art could not be said better than by Jonathan Jones who wrote in The Guardian: “A century ago, cave art was still barely accepted as being genuine. When Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola claimed in 1880 that paintings in Altamira cave in Spain were prehistoric, he was mocked and reviled as a faker.
Gradually their antiquity was recognized but it was only when tremendous depictions of animals were found at Lascaux in France in 1940 that cave art exploded into modern culture. Today, it is at the heart of thinking about human evolution because it seems to illuminate the birth of the complex cathedral of the modern mind. Source: Jonathan Jones, The Guardian February 23, 2018 Chauvet–Pont d’Arc, painted cave in southeast France considered to be one of the greatest Paleolithic sanctuaries ever discovered. It is noted both for the originality and quality of its animal representations and for their great age. Chauvet–Pont d’Arc was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.
The numerous bones discovered in the cave revealed that it had long been frequented by bears. Some of the bear bones suggests that the animals went into the cave to hibernate thousands of years before people entered it. Many died during hibernation, and several thousand bones, including 195 skulls, were found on the surface of the cave floor. Cave bears scratched the walls, left impressive footprints on the soft ground, and dug dozens of wallows for sleeping. Most of the drawings in Chauvet–Pont d’Arc represent animals. With few humans and with a number of geometric signs. The Chauvet–Pont d’Arc cave is unique in the variety of animal species represented, such as mammoths, lions, horses, bears, etc.
Another unusual feature of Chauvet–Pont d’Arc is that mammoths, lions, rhinos, and bears, constitute more than 60 percent of the figures, whereas horses and bison are more in caves painted in later times.