The Cave of Lascaux

This is the "Great Hall of Bulls" from the Cave of Lascaux, located in southwestern France. The cave was discovered in 1940 by a group of teenagers.  Inside the cave are over 2000 paintings, all of which are dated to 16,500-14,000 BCE, in a period of time known as the Paleolithic Age.

The "Great Hall of Bulls" features an image of a bull that is over 17 feet long--the biggest known Paleolithic painting in existence.

Most of the images in Lascaux are of animals. And, as you can see int he above image, some of the paintings had been painted over other paintings. Why?

Although most of the images are of animals, there are a few handprints, symbols and a stick-figure drawing of a human being.

Since the first cave was discovered back in Spain in 1870, hundreds more have been found all across the world. There are over 350 caves with prehistoric art in France and Spain alone; such art can be found on nearly every continent.

The most common pigments used in paintings are red and yellow ochre (made from iron oxide), other forms of iron oxide and charcoal.

Questions to consider:

1. Why are most cave paintings of animals?
2. Some of these painting are deep within caves and are very hard to get to. However, they were probably not made so that people would see them. So, why were they created?