On Friday, Mom and Aunt LaDene went to see a movie called Cave of Forgotten Dreams. This movie is about a cave in the south part of France, and it's called Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave. What's special about this cave is that people back in prehistoric days made pictures on the walls of it. There were quite a few caves where people drew on the walls, but the Chauvet cave got sealed up by a rock slide, so nobody even knew about it for thousands of years.
The way this cave got discovered was that on December 18, 1994 a man named Jean-Marie Chauvet and two of his friends were exploring some cliffs, and they were looking for caves because they all liked finding them and exploring them. So when they felt a little air coming out of a sort of hole in the hillside, they made the hole bigger, and they discovered a cave there. And it wasn't just any old, boring cave. It was a place where ancient cave persons had painted all sorts of pictures of animals on the walls.
Way back in ancient times, people used to make pictures on rocks and on the walls of caves and places like that because paper hadn't been invented yet. And even if paper had been invented, there wouldn't have been anyplace such as Office Max to go buy it. So that's why people drew on the walls. Also I think that during the winter when they had to stay inside in the cave a lot, it gave them something to do. Plus it also might have had some religious meaning.
|Lions and a deer|
Anyway, in the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave, the drawings are special because they are about 31,000 years old, which means they are the oldest ones that anybody has found yet. Also the artists used stuff like shading and perspective, which primitive people supposedly didn't know how to do. And the animals in the drawings included scary, predatory animals such as cave bears and cave lions and rhinos and mammoths. In other caves that have artwork in them, the pictures are mostly of animals that the people hunted, such as bison and deer and horses. What's not in the pictures are any wolves or foxes or dogs, and that's kind of sad, if you ask me.
|Horses and lions|
Okay, so here are some other pictures from the Chauvet Cave. If you want to read more about the cave and see a map of the inside of it and where all the different artwork is, you can go to this website. And seeing movie would be even better, because Mom says the cave looks really cool in 3D.
|Four horses. This is Mom's favorite art in the whole cave.|
|This design is made by engraving instead of by painting.|
|Woolly rhinos fighting|
|A cave bear skull that someone put in a special place on a rock.|
There are lots of fossil bones in the cave.
|A cave bear|
|Some auroches and other animals|