Painters of the Caves

by Patricia Lauber

In December, 1994, three people went searching for caves in the limestone hills near... read more

In December, 1994, three people went searching for caves in the limestone hills near Avignon, in southeast France. Following an ancient mule path up a cliff, they noticed a passageway that they crawled into one at a time. At its end they discovered a cave. This was no ordinary cave. They had discovered one in which Stone Age paintings of animals had been preserved. More than 300 such paintings were later documented in what is now named Chauvet Cave after one of the explorers who discovered the long-hidden art created some 32,000 years ago in black, red, and yellow on those rock walls. Thought to be a hoax for a time after it was first discovered, Chauvet Cave is thought to be the oldest record of that type of human creativity found to date in Europe or elsewhere. Lauber writes about what is now known about Stone Age artists and cave art. She clarifies what is generally understood about the first early modern humans and compares them with what is known about the Neanderthals. The book contains full-color photographs of the extraordinary prehistoric animal images in Chauvet Cave. Other photos of artifacts, a helpful map, and information about carbon 14 dating make this subject accessible to young readers. (Ages 9-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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