Pech Merle Prehistoric Cave Paintings, France 8/13

August 25, 2013

Monika had always wanted to visit the famous prehistoric Lascaux caves but they have been closed to visitors for years and during the Summer holidays, the reconstructed caves are very popular so she jumped on the idea to visit the actual prehistoric caves of Pech Merle near Cabrerets in the Lot Department of the Midi-Pyrénée.

In 1922, the prehistoric galleries were discovered by two teenage boys who informed the local Father Amedee Lemozi of Cabrerets, an amateur archaeologist.

With a group of other visitors, we climbed down deep into the interior of the cave which is a constant 12 C (53 F). Huge caverns are adorned by giant and colorful stalactites and stalagmites and on the walls of seven of the chambers we discovered black and red lifelike images of woolly mammoth, spotted horses, single colored horses, bovids, a fish, reindeer, handprints and even a couple of very stylized human figures.

The artists used ground iron ore (red) and ground manganese (black) and carbon to create their colors.

Footprints of children are preserved in what was once clay. They have been found more than half a mile underground. The oldest paintings are dated some 25,000 years BC.

This prehistoric hand print's artist blew ground iron ore around his hand.

This prehistoric hand print’s artist blew ground iron ore around his hand.

This is a replica of the most famous painting at one of Pech Merle's underground walls: spotted horses and hands.

This is a replica of the most famous painting at one of Pech Merle’s underground walls: spotted horses and hands.

 

Leave a Comment




Answer this (to show you're not a robot) *