Cave Art

Photography of Lascaux animal painting

Replica of the painting from the Chauvet cave

Cave Art

Cave art dates back to prehistoric times. Some is said to be more than 40,000 years old. Most of the paintings were done with charcoal on the rock. What does the cave art mean? Researchers and explorers have been trying to decipher the cave art for centuries. While some of it is believed to be stories of their culture including life, love, and war; most of it remains unclear.

Cave art has been discovered in many areas of the world including Europe, Australia, China, and Africa. This is another reason it is so hard to decipher as each culture used their own symbols, pictures, and maps in their cave art. However, the cave art is believed to have been done by elders and scholars of the cultures. It is considered to take on a special significance relating to the adventures, trials, and tribulations of their culture.

For those interested in exploring cave art, it can be seen in many caves throughout the world. The Chauvet Pont d’Arc was discovered in 1994 by three friends exploring the cave. They discovered numerous chambers filled with magnificent art. One of the greatest discoveries was the drawings of the wooly mammoth. A major exploration took place a short time later, proving the cave art to be original. It was declared a National Monument in 1995.

Another great place to find cave art is in France. The cave of Lascaux is not open to the public. However, the findings have been replicated and are display in a location not far from the cave. Guided tours of the replicated cave art last approximately 40 minutes.

The Cave art of Dunhuang in China is believed to be in honor of Buddha and the Buddhist Religion. The cave is full of Indian drawings and flying fairies. There are also wonderful portraits on the cave walls. It is believed these are of prominent members of the Buddhist Religion. There is a strong indication that music and dancing were very popular in the early times of the Chinese culture.

Cave art is quite fascinating. It is a link to those who walked this Earth thousands of years before us. From their art work, we have found information about Religion, animals, and their culture. There is still so much about many pieces of cave art that we don’t understand. However, we do realize this art is to be preserved in its natural environment.


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