Lascaux Grotto


Lascaux Grotto

Cave near Montignac, Fr., that contains perhaps the most outstanding known display of prehistoric art. Discovered in 1940, it consists of a main cavern and several steep galleries, all magnificently decorated with engraved, drawn, and painted animals, some of them portrayed in a “twisted perspective.” Among the most notable images are four great aurochs bulls, a curious unicorn-type animal that may represent a mythical creature, and a rare narrative composition involving a bird-man figure and a speared bison. About 1,500 bone engravings have also been found at the site, which has been dated to the late Aurignacian period (c. 15,000 BC). Because of heavy tourist traffic, the cave was closed to the public in 1963, but a full-scale facsimile, Lascaux II, was opened in 1983. See also rock art.

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