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Cave Art: A Guide to the Decorated Ice Age Caves of Europe

Overview


The decorated Ice Age caves are some of mankind's greatest artistic achievements, and there is no substitute for seeing the caves themselves. There you can see the art – paintings, engravings, bas-reliefs or drawings – in its original, natural setting, and stand where the artists did 30,000–10,000 years ago.

For speleologists and holidaymakers alike – indeed anyone who wants to add a visit to a cave to their itinerary – here is an essential handbook. The first guide to all the ...

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Overview


The decorated Ice Age caves are some of mankind's greatest artistic achievements, and there is no substitute for seeing the caves themselves. There you can see the art – paintings, engravings, bas-reliefs or drawings – in its original, natural setting, and stand where the artists did 30,000–10,000 years ago.

For speleologists and holidaymakers alike – indeed anyone who wants to add a visit to a cave to their itinerary – here is an essential handbook. The first guide to all the decorated Ice Age caves in Europe that are open to the public, Cave Art covers more than 50 caves in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as well as relevant museums and centres.

This second edition has been fully revised and includes one additional cave and three new facsimiles.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780711232570
  • Publisher: Lincoln, Frances Limited
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 427,909
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul G. Bahn is a distinguished archaeologist and a prolific writer and broadcaster on archaeology. He led the team that discovered the cave art of Creswell Crags in Derbyshire, the most northerly find in Europe. He lives in Hull, United Kingdom.
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Read an Excerpt


There are many reasons for visiting the Ice Age decorated caves of Europe. You may be making a pilgrimage, in homage to the region's artists of 30,000-10,000 years ago; you may be visiting out of curiosity, books, television or lecture slides having triggered your interest. Whatever your motivation, there is simply no substitute for seeing the sites themselves. You will see some of humankind's greatest artistic achievements in their unusual, evocative and original settings. In addition, many of the caves are in regions of outstanding beauty and wonderful climates, famed for their wines and cuisines.

A visit to an Ice Age cave is a tremendous privilege. After more than a century of research, we still know of only about three hundred such sites in Eurasia, and because of difficulties of access or conservation concerns only a small fraction of these are open to the public. Thus Ice Age caves constitute a very limited and finite resource. In a cave visitors can approach original masterpieces really closely and see the images precisely where they were created, standing or crouching just where the artists did - an experience unparalleled by major art galleries such as the Louvre or the Prado.

In many cases, the journey to the cave entrance and the route through the chambers give your experience an immediacy, purity and vividness. There is nothing like a stalactite dripping on your head to remind you that you are in a pristine and natural setting. Entering a world far removed from one of commerce, art dealers and critics enhances a feeling of connection with the artists.

Although a number of decorated caves have had to be closed to the public in recent years (for example Santimamiñe, Maltravieso), others have been re-opened (for example Candamo). In addition some new discoveries have been opened for the first time - most notably El Pendo, Church Hole (Creswell Crags) and various open-air sites in Spain and Portugal. Moreover, such has been the enormous success of the facsimiles of the caves of Lascaux and Altamira that a whole series of such replicas is already in production and will be opening in the next few years.

In view of the ever-growing popularity of Ice Age cave art, this book is intended to help you prepare for an enjoyable and meaningful visit. The excellent and knowledgeable guides at each site will further enhance your experience.

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Table of Contents


Preface
Cave art
Maps

ENGLAND
Church Hole and Robin Hood's Cave

FRANCE
La Chaire à Calvin
Font de Gaume
Les Combarelles
Cap Blanc
Abri Pataud and Cave Pataud (Abri Movius)
Rouffignac
Bernifal
Abri du Poisson (and Laugerie Haute)
Bara-Bahau
Villars
Abri Reverdit (Castel-Merle)
Lascaux II
Musée National de Préhistoire (Les Eyzies)
Cougnac
Grotte des Merveilles
Pech-Merle
Pair Non Pair
Musée d'Aquitaine
Isturitz and Oxocelhaya
Gargas
Bédeilhac
Niaux
Parc de la Préhistoire
Musée d'Archéologie Nationale

SPAIN
Covalanas
Altamira II
Chufín
El Castillo
Las Monedas
Hornos de la Peña
El Pendo
Salitre II (Sopeña)
El Pindal
El Buxu
Tito Bustillo
La Loja
La Peña de Candamo (and Interpretation Centre)
Los Casares
La Pileta
Ardales (Cueva de Doña Trinidad)
Ambrosio
Siega Verde
Domingo García
(Cerro de San Isidro)
Museo Arqueológico Nacional

PORTUGAL
Escoural
Côa Valley

ITALY
Levanzo (Grotta del Genovese)
Grotta dei Puntali - Carini (PA)
Grotta del Caviglione e Balzi Rossi
Riparo de Romito

Acknowledgments
Index

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