From Academic Kids
Lascaux is a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. They contain some of the earliest known art, dating back to somewhere between 13,000 and 15,000 BC.
The Upper Paleolithic cave paintings consist mostly of realistic images of large animals, including aurochs, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. The other common theme of the paintings is human handprints.
The cave was discovered on 12 September, 1940 by four teenagers and a dog named Robot. Public access was made easier after World War II. By 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963, in order to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state, and are now monitored on a daily basis.
Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls - the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery - was opened in 1983. Reproductions of other Lascaux artwork can be seen at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot, France.
The construction of the replica was a chance for scientists, to prove their knowledge how the paintings were made. Inside a shell in reinforced concrete, with the contours of the cave inside, the paintings were executed in the same manner, using the same types of materials believed to have been used 19,000 years ago. This were natural pigments like ochre, charcoal, and iron oxides.
- Lascaux Cave (http://www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/) Official Lascaux Web site, from the French Ministry of Culture.
- Lascaux Cave (http://www.showcaves.com/english/fr/showcaves/Lascaux.html) some info on the cave and more links
- The Dawn of Rock Art (http://www.jqjacobs.net/rock_art/dawn.html). An article summarizing the earliest known rock art, with a focus on recently discovered painted caves in Europe, Grotto Cosquer and Grotto Chauvet.da:Lascaux-hulerne