A wounded buffalo from the ceiling of the Altamira cave. He is 20 thousand years old. There is no question of any "children's scribbles" of primitive man here. The image of the bison figure is not only contour, but also three-dimensional: all the bulges of its massive mascara are shown masterfully! But where the primitiveness of the image is, it is in the absence of a general composition and consistency of images. On the ceiling of the Altamir cave, about two dozen buffaloes, horses and wild boars are painted; and each individual figure is excellent, but how are they located? Some are even drawn upside down, others are superimposed on one another.
And he came to the sheep's pen by the way; there was a cave, and Saul went there for the need; David and his men were sitting in the depths of the cave.
24 Kings 4: XNUMX
24 Kings 4: XNUMX
Material история our homeland. Last time we visited the "residential caves" where the Neanderthals of the Paleolithic era lived. We got acquainted with the finds made in these caves. However, the significance of the caves for the people of the Stone Age was far from being exhausted. That is, it can be considered proven that they were not only and not so much lived as they were a kind of "centers of spiritual culture" of ancient people, "picturesque galleries" of the Stone Age. Let's visit the most famous caves of this purpose on the territory of our country and in Europe, and see to what level the people of that distant time reached in the development of art.
To begin with, until the middle of the 40th century, no one knew anything about these caves, and when they began to open them, then ... very many did not believe that the drawings that covered their walls were made by primitive people. Well, as today there are people who do not believe that primitive hunters hunted mammoths, so then there were those who believed that they still did not know how to draw. Then, however, under the pressure of facts, I had to agree that the hands of primitive hunters could hold not only an ax and a spear, but also tools for painting. It was proved that the earliest images belong to the Upper Paleolithic, that is, they are at least 20-XNUMX thousand years old. Among the "painted caves" the most famous is perhaps the Altamira cave. Here we will start with her ...
The Altamira cave is located in Spain (Santillana del Mar, 30 km west of the city of Santadera), but it was discovered in 1879. This is a natural formation, and her drawings are perhaps the most valuable monument of Stone Age art. Moreover, the pictures on its walls have a long history and belong to the Madeleine, Soltureisk, as well as the Gravette and early Aurignacian cultures, which was found out thanks to the uranium-thorium dating method. That is, people visited it for about 22 years, until the main entrance was covered by a landslide.
Another bison or Altamirs ...
A significant part of the drawings were made on ... the ceiling, so it was named “Sistine Chapel of Primitive Art". Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985, it has attracted and continues to attract the attention of a huge number of tourists. So, in the 60-70s of the last century, it was visited by up to 1500 people a day, and then there were no fewer of them. As a result, mold started up in it, threatening to destroy valuable images, and a real war had to be waged with it. We decided not to let tourists go there, but to place exact copies of the drawings in the museum next to the cave, which was done in 2001. In addition, copies of drawings from Altamira can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid, as well as in the German Museum in Munich, and in Japan.
As for the cave itself, its length is 270 meters and there are several corridors and halls in it. The main hall is 18 meters long and 2 to 6 meters high. The drawings include bison, horses, wild boars, and human handprints. They are made with coal, as well as ocher, hematite and other mineral paints. Obviously, they were made not only with fingers, but also with the help of special devices made for this purpose. The drawings are on the ceiling and walls of the main hall, as well as in the corridors and other halls. It is interesting that the ancient artists did not just draw, they also skillfully used the natural contours of the walls to create the effect of a three-dimensional image, that is, their thinking was very similar to ours. It is possible that all this painting was of a religious nature. There are also very similar images in the caves of Scandinavia and Northern Italy, that is, there were not so few people who "saw it this way" at that time!
Gargas Cave - "the cave of human hands"
This cave is located in the Hautes Pyrenees in France, belongs to the Gravetian culture, it is 27 thousand years old, it was discovered in 1906 and is interesting in that, in addition to images of animals, many human handprints are present in it. That is, the tradition to write on the walls "Vasya was here!" comes from the Stone Age!
"Palms" from Gargas Cave. What could that mean?
Kapova cave - "camel cave"
The Kapova Cave in Bashkiria is 36 to 18 thousand years old. They began to use it from the Lower Paleolithic era. On its walls, we see images of animals, anthropomorphic and geometric shapes. That is, the rudiments of abstract thinking were evident in her artists. And here we see the oldest and, incidentally, the only image of such an animal as a camel in Europe. It was discovered quite late - in 1959. Research by the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR described 173 drawings. They are made with ocher paint mixed with fat, their age is about 18 years. Anthropomorphic figures are interesting. There are images of huts, triangles, stairs, strange oblique lines. Uranium-thorium dating has shown that the oldest drawings in the Kapova Cave were made 000 years ago.
Horse from the Kapova Cave. Replica from the museum in Brno
Since our tourists actually dirtied the cave, it is closed for free visits. But since July 2012, an interactive kiosk has been set up in the museum on the territory of the reserve where this cave is located, where you can see the most interesting drawings of the cave without going into it.
Montespan Cave Bear
But in the Montespan cave (in France) they also found a "wounded" clay bear, but without a head. But at the feet of the statue lay a real bear skull. That is, the bloody head of a newly killed animal was put to the clay body and ... they conjured. The point is that spearheads and arrowheads were found in the clay. They did not take them out: "the bear took it." That is, everything was probably the same as in the book "The Leaves of the Stone Book" by A.M. Linevsky, where people jumped around the image on the ground and stabbed it with spears, saying: "I hit it now, I'll get it on the hunt!"
Koske Underwater Cave
Coske Cave, located not far from Marseille, is unique in that its entrance is under water at a depth of 37 m, which clearly shows us how great the rise in the Mediterranean Sea level was in the Paleolithic era. Named for the diver Anri Koske, who found her in 1985. However, it was only in 1991 that he managed to pass a 175-meter underwater tunnel and enter the cave itself. But in the summer of 1992, three amateur divers died in this tunnel, and free entry into it was prohibited.
The sea level was then 110-120 meters lower than today. So it turned out that where people walked freely, now only a scuba diver can get through. It is clear that the sea destroyed a lot of drawings. But what is left is enough to study. Here you can see 65 handprints and 177 images of animals, dating back to different periods of the ancient people visiting the cave. It is interesting that apart from bison, mountain goats and horses, there are many images of the inhabitants of the sea: seals, penguins (!), As well as birds and jellyfish.
"Lascaux - Versailles of primitive painting"
In its popularity, the Lascaux Cave in France, discovered in 1940, rivals the Altamira Cave. The age of her images is 15-18 thousand years. There are a lot of images in it, so it was called “Versailles” for a reason. It was open for visits already in 1948, but over time there were so many tourists (up to 1000 people a day!) That their breathing began to threaten the safety of rock carvings, since they produced 2500 liters fumes. Therefore, the entrance to the cave was closed with a heavy bronze door, and in 50 tourists were no longer allowed there.
Giant cave deer. Lasko cave
Bulls. Lasko cave
As a result, a copy of Lasko II was built next to the real cave and in 1983 it was opened to the public. The Lasko cave itself from fungi and mold is "treated" to this day.
Nio Cave "Black Room"
Niot's cave was found in the French Pyrenees of the Ariege department. Its total length is more than 14 kilometers. The rock carvings are meticulously executed in the black style that was characteristic of the Madeleine culture. It is believed that they were made from 17 to 11 thousand years ago.
Bison from the Black Room. As you can see, it has arrows or spears drawn on its side. That is, in front of us is either a hunting scene, or, again, witchcraft ...
It can only be viewed in groups of 25 people. Thus, they try to preserve its microclimate. Lighting is provided by portable lamps that are given to visitors at the entrance. Particularly interesting in this cave is the "Black Room" with charcoal drawings of bison, goats, deer and goats.
Pesch Merle Cave - "When Artists Spit ..."
It contains drawings 25 thousand years old (Gravettian culture); and drawings of the Madeleine culture. They are 16 thousand years old. Among them are handprints, images of animals, and even images of people. It was discovered in 1922 on a hillside in the commune of Cabrera, in the French Pyrenees. Its length is 1,5 km. It has seven rooms, in each of which on the walls you can see bright and very vivid images of a mammoth, spotted horses, monochromatic horses, bulls, reindeer, as well as prints of human hands and even images of people. Within a radius of 10 km from this cave, there are 10 other similar caves with Upper Paleolithic drawings, but all of them are closed to the public.
It is interesting that some of the drawings, as it turned out, were applied to the wall with the help of ... spitting with a dye composition!
Here they are - the palms from the Pesch Merle cave
Chauvet cave - "the cave of man and dog"
This cave in France was discovered in 1994. Its age is estimated at 35 thousand years. Belongs to the Aurignacian culture. In 2014 she was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is larger than Lascaux and consists of a hall and gallery 800 meters long and up to 18 meters high. It contained 435 drawings of animals. Scientists estimate the age of the oldest at 36 thousand years (Aurignacian culture), but the exact dating is still controversial. In addition to the drawings, many bear bones were found in the cave. And here they found proof of the cohabitation of a man and a dog - prints of her paws and at the same time the legs of a child.
On April 25, 2015, a replica of the cave was discovered near the town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. It cost 55 million euros. But on the other hand, with the help of the latest technologies, specialists were able to reproduce with exceptional accuracy the original drawings of the Chauvet cave.
Horses from Chauvet. Drawings are superimposed on one another. Typical painting of the Paleolithic era
El Castillo cave - the oldest carvings on the planet
The drawings of this cave are 40 thousand years old, and the first traces of a person in this cave date back to 150 thousand years BC. Located in Spain in Cantabria. Opened in 1903.
On its walls, almost 275 m long, there are rock paintings depicting horses, bison, bison, mammoth, and other animals that surrounded the primitive artist. It is believed that some of the wall paintings were not made by Cro-Magnons, as previously thought, but by Neanderthals.
And all this is just a small part of the ancient caves with drawings. Their study made it possible to determine the features of Paleolithic art and learn a lot about the world of primitive man - the physical world around him and the spiritual world enclosed in it!
To be continued ...