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Kilroy, B.C.

This spooky image was made by one man (a man, I assume), about 5’10” tall, using just his right hand to apply pigment…

…upwards of 30,000 years ago, making this thing and all the artwork in Chauvet Cave about twice as old as that in the famous Lascaux caves, discovered in 1940. Actually, it looks to me like there were two pigments, a dark charcoal-y pigment followed by a pale yellow one, giving the drop shadow effect that makes these pop off the wall in such an alarming way. Chauvet was discovered (also by accident) in 1994 and there has been controversy about the dates, but the carbon dating of pigments and bones has been repeated several times from many different spots in the cave.

I actually think the drawings in Chauvet are more sophisticated than Lascaux (though similar in style), and beautiful…and I’m not just saying that because you’re supposed to think ugly, primitive crap is wonderful. I generally hate folk art in all its ugly, primitive crappiness. These drawings are well-observed and rendered in a suprisingly sophisticated way, given that the artist(s) had nothing but dirt and soot to work with.

If you like this kind of thing, you can burn many a happy hour at Don’s Maps, the website of Don Hitchcock. who I assume is an archeologist (a modest fellow with no About Me page). Yes, there are maps, but mostly there are hundreds of pictures of archeological sites and artifacts from around the world.

UPDATE: oh, pooh! Fie! And also piffle! That hands image isn’t a real cave image, it’s a computer reconstruction of how the “bison made of dots of red” wall art was created. Thanks to Crabby Old Bat for swinging the clue bat. The rest of the art is still way cool, though.

July 2, 2012 — 10:16 pm
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