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September 15 2013

05:01
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… A new age in the science of prehistory had begun in 1949, when radiocarbon dating was invented by Willard Libby, a chemist from Chicago. One of Libby’s first experiments was on a piece of charcoal from Lascaux. Breuil had, incorrectly, it turns out, classified the cave as Perigordian. (It is Magdalenian.) He had also made the Darwinian assumption that the most ancient art was the most primitive, and Leroi-Gourhan worked on the same premise. In that respect, Chauvet was a bombshell. It is Aurignacian, and its earliest paintings are at least thirty-two thousand years old, yet they are just as sophisticated as much later compositions. What emerged with that revelation was an image of Paleolithic artists transmitting their techniques from generation to generation for twenty-five millennia with almost no innovation or revolt. A profound conservatism in art, Curtis notes, is one of the hallmarks of a “classical civilization.” For the conventions of cave painting to have endured four times as long as recorded history, the culture it served, he concludes, must have been “deeply satisfying”—and stable to a degree it is hard for modern humans to imagine. …


(via Letter from Southern France: First Impressions : The New Yorker)

Reposted bysashthesplashnerdanelgingergluesergelanmiunbill
04:12
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Palaeolithic cave paintings dated between 30,000 & 33,000 years ago.


(via The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

04:09
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The Red hand stencil and partial outline of a black mammoth, found in the Red Panels Gallery, are located more specifically on the Panel of Hand Stencils. The hand stencil has been placed inside the outline of the animal, on its flank.Researchers have been able to determine that the mammoth was drawn before the hand….


(via Red Hand & Mammoth - The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

04:06
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These four horses occupy a small recess in the Chauvet Cave. They bare [sic] similar artistic attributes. The artist used fingers to mix and spread a charcoal paste and applied it in order to emphasize the main outlines and give relief and shading to the heads….

(via Facing Horses - The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

04:03
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This is considered one of the most important panels of the Chauvet Cave. It contains twenty animals. The drama is clear to see, highlighted by the rhinoceroses confronting each other. This is unique in Palaeolithic cave art. The two rhinos were drawn at the same time, probably by the same artist. The charcoal used has been dated between approximately 30,000 and 32,000 years before present.

The four horses heads were drawn in charcoal after the rhinos as well as the other animals - two more rhinos, a stag and two mammoths - on this panel, which as elsewhere in the cave had been prepared and scraped. Of the four horses, the top one was drawn first and the lowest one drawn last….


(via Fighting Rhino & Four Horses - The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

04:00
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