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Cave Paintings

cave painting, Lascaux

The commonest themes in cave paintings are large wild animals, such as bison, horses, aurochs, and deer, and tracings of human hands as well as abstract patterns. Drawings of humans are rare and are usually schematic rather than the more naturalistic animal subjects. Cave art may have begun in the Aurignacian period (ca 29.000+ years ago), but reached its apogee in the late Magdalenian (ca. 10.000 to 16.000 years ago).
The paintings were drawn with red and yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide and charcoal. Sometimes the silhouette of the animal was incised in the rock first.

Interesting Links:
The cave of Lascaux: http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/
Chauvet cave: http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/chauvet/fr/
Tassili n’Ajjar: http://www.fjexpeditions.com/tassili/frameset/start.html