Prehistoric Cave Art Essay by BrainC

Prehistoric Cave Art
Discusses the discovery of cave art in Europe and Africa.
# 52638 | 951 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Sep 12, 2004 in Art (History) , Archaeology (General)

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This paper looks at the relatively recent discovery of cave art and how many experts were, at first, skeptical of its authenticity. The paper describes some of the art found and how it was accidentally discovered, as well as how it finally came to be recognized as authentic Paleolithic art.

From the Paper:

"Despite being the most ancient of all human artistic forms, cave art was discovered only within the last one hundred years or so, usually by accident and by amateurs. In 1879, near Santander in northern Spain, Marcelino de Sautuola was exploring with his little daughter the Altamira caves on his estate. Since the ceiling of the debris-filled cavern "was only a few inches above Marcelino's head, it was his daughter who was first able to discern the shadowy forms of painted beasts on the cave roof" (Berenquer, 25). De Sautuola was the first modern man to explore this cave and he was certain that the paintings dated back to prehistoric times. Archeologists, however, were highly dubious of their authenticity, but in 1880 the Altamira paintings were officially dismissed as forgeries. In 1896, at Pair-non-Pair in the Gironde district of France, more paintings were discovered that were partially covered by calcareous deposits that would have taken thousands of years to accumulate and soon after, these paintings were recognized as authentic by the experts. The caves at Lascaux near Montignac in France were discovered accidentally in 1941 by two young boys who were playing in a field. Their dog chased a ball down a hole and disappeared, and the boys then followed the dog down into the caves."

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Prehistoric Cave Art (2004, September 12) Retrieved September 18, 2019, from

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"Prehistoric Cave Art" 12 September 2004. Web. 18 September. 2019. <>