Font de Gaume

So I was totally off in my speculations. It was stupid of me to try outsmart the archeologists šŸ™‚
The animals our ancient ancestors painted, as a rule, weren’t the animals they hunted. The preferred image was that of a bison repeated over and over, and as I found out, those Cro Magnons didn’t hunt bisons.
Font de Gaume is one of the last real caves open to the public and the last one with polychromatic paintings (the other two are Lascaux and Altamira, both now closed to visitors).
There is something to say about going into a real cave, even though, I must admit, the paintings here aren’t as impressive as those in Lascaux (I mean the copy thereof), as they have greatly faded. But standing in a cave that was actually painted by a prehistoric human being, who even left an imprint of his left hand on the ceiling, is totally awesome! It’s not clear if he left the handprint as his signature or was just leaning on the ceiling with his left hand while paining with his right.
The great mystery of cave paintings is: why did they do it? Were the caves their temples? Was it just art for the sake of art? Is it possible that our desire for art and beauty is so programmed into our DNA that those people, whose whole existence was a daily struggle for survival, made time in their harsh lives to seek out caves, make and mix paints, create something they could use as brushes and sharp carving instruments, and paint those noble animals while using the natural topography of the stone walls to breathe some life into their art?!


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