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Date of discovery[edit]

Lascaux and 1940 contradict regarding the date the caves were discovered, they say 12 September, and 1 November respectively. - cohesiontalk 07:54, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

[1] says 12 September. - cohesiontalk 07:57, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

a quick google search yeilds only sites that take their information from wikipedia claiming 1 November, while many others claim 12 September. I'll make the change. --Someones life 19:59, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Star Map[edit]

This[2] isn't mentioned? I don't know enough about it to write myself Chopper Dave 22:23, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Fascinating. I saw that mentioned in the Cro-Magnon article. Might be interesting to add it here. It's along the lines of the work by Alexander Marshack. But I wonder if it was published. Maybe a brief mention. I'll maybe add it, if you don't. I really need to get back to this article and do the refs properly. Soon, I hope. TimidGuy 16:06, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

The star map/constellation information appears to be highly speculative. The only references are popular science mags and a few websites. There are no archaeological or historical scientific references noted, which I regard as problematic. Aglnl (talk) 03:51, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

DETAILed article and 27 fotos discussing careful measurements and correlation with modern constellation software walked back in time to the time of the cave drawings to prove the use of the cave paintings e.g. at time of summer solstice as the sun light walks across the images essentially telling a story: work by chantal jogues-wolkiewiez see
what is jmissing is here in these caves and 7,000 years later at gobekli tepi is the careful depiction of a fully developed what some would argue religion , but in fact, it includes religion but is a depiction of the engine of creation ... ard ri sr lil AO (talk) 14:09, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

storing some info about stone lamps[edit]

May add something about this to the article. Since I had typed it in elsewhere am storing it here in case I decide to add.

On page 117-118 Curtis describes an excavation of Lascaux that took place in 1959. He writes, "A number of tools and blades also appeared, as well as dozens of plain lamps that are little more than stones with a small hollow, and one exquisite lamp carved from pinkish sandstone. It is shaped like a broad spoon and decorated with the same barbed lines found on the spear points and in the painting. The presense of so many lamps in the Shaft adds weight to the theory that things took place at times when the carbon dioxide level was high. Each individual lamp would have burned less brightly in an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxice, so more lamps that usual would have been necessary." TimidGuy 11:43, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Fungus Talk[edit]

Let's get some Fungus talk going. I read about it many months ago. When they first did the air circulation system decades ago, much care was taken with natural air flow. They redid the old system a couple years ago, and BOOM! fungus grows like wild fire. Apparently, the major concern was cost, not the mind numbing slow, careful, and correct operations that most natural, irreplaceable landmarks get. This story has a bad guy and everything! Can someone help? (my first post) Turtlefoot 00:05, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Re: Fungus Talk[edit]

I agree that the Lascaux cave Wikipedia page should have a section on the recent attacks from fungi and mold growth. The matter is a controversial one, in that the French government has claimed that the only problem has been picking up the pieces of the problems from 40 years ago (, while Lauscaux advocates, especially the International Committee for the Preservation of Lascaux (ICPL) (, have claimed that the French government have hidden (and at times: lied about) the true condition of the caves and the seriousness of the stability and life expectancy of the cave paintings. The issue has received worldwide attention, especially after the articles published in TIME magazine (, and the most recent issue (May/June 2008) of Archaeology Magazine. Since the issue has become more publicly known, I think that the Wikipedia page should provide every angle of the available information for those wishing to know more of the matter. Rache125 (talk) 16:44, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Seems like this could be mentioned, but maybe keep it to a few sentences -- so that the controversy doesn't overwhelm a somewhat anemic article. Would be great if we could also add more content about the painting themselves. This article could be a lot richer. Would you like to draft a proposed section? TimidGuy (talk) 17:24, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Carbon dioxide created the replica caves?[edit]

Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls - the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery - was opened in 1983, 200 meters from the original. It was created due to carbon dioxide wearing down the original paintings.

The article already mentions the original Lascaux closing due to CO2, but this second reference implies that CO2 actually created the second cave. MMetro (talk) 22:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I tried to fix it. Is the revised version better? TimidGuy (talk) 11:40, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Confused about Caves[edit]

At present this seems very confusing. After the lead referring to "caves" and "complex of caves" the article then continues referring to "the cave"; later Lascaux II is mentioned, followed by "the cave", without it being clear to what it refers. There also seems to be overlap and conflicting narractive between the 'History since rediscovery' and 'Threats' sections. Hopefully someone with the sources can work through this. In addition "Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley" redirects here, yet there is no mention of any other site except Lascaux.Davidships (talk) 23:51, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Hi, Langcliffe. Thanks for working on Lascaux. I noticed your reversion. Yes, I know ochre is a mineral pigment (with different types, different colours). My understanding, however, is that there are other mineral earth pigments. But I believe it was specifically ochre that was used at Lascaux: I have a source indicating that the "ochre" at Lascaux was suspended in an animal fat matrix. I'm working on a second source for that aspect. I'm going through some references about this. Are you under the impression that mineral pigment is synonymous with ochre, or is it the correct case that ochre a subset of the universe of mineral pigments? So I'm also trying to confirm that it was just ochre. What is plain so far is that ochre was used, though. Unless the source is wrong. The way I had put it left open the possibilty of a second mineral, although I think that's probably going to be wrong when we get through the various sources; I think the different colours are because ochre comes in different colours. It would seem, unless there is some aspect I am missing, that if other minerals were not used, it's "mineral pigments" (plural) that will end of being redacted, not "ochre". FeatherPluma (talk) 00:10, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Minerals other than iron oxides are found in the paintings at Lascaux. See "Discovery of Unusual Minerals in Paleolithic Black Pigments from Lascaux (France) and Ekain (Spain)"
Scarce manganese oxide minerals, including groutite, hausmannite, and manganite, were found for the first time in Paleolithic art at these archaeological sites.
Interestingly, the nearest known Mn-rich area to Lascaux is 250 km away in the central Pyrénées, suggestive of extensive trade routes. --Hillbillyholiday talk 00:51, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Langcliffe and Hillbillyholiday: That is interesting. My source is copyrighted in 1995 and is a general cultural review rather than a deep treatment of Lascaux. So this is a very nice update. Unless there is an objection (feel free to revert) I would propose adding this reference after the words "mineral pigments". The traditional sources are saying "ochre", and this reference (at least for the black) is saying otherwise. I don't think the specifics need to be placed into the article, so "mineral pigments" would remain the mainspace text, without modification. But the reference will assist an aware reader to reach out and tap into this data. FeatherPluma (talk) 00:58, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

A brief mention in text accompanied by a footnote describing the pigment types in more detail would be good. A decent secondary source for the use of manganese is found at
Rapp, George R. (2013). Archaeomineralogy. p. 208. 
--Hillbillyholiday talk 01:11, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Hillbillyholiday and Langcliffe: Excellent. These 2 sources are exactly what I wanted, thanks. Do I correctly understand that Rapp confirms mid page 204 that iron oxides, which I think is the same as "ochre", were confirmed (per Leroi-Gourham 1982 and as traditional sources state), and that additionally Chalmin 2006 has added to our data, by pointing to a complex multiplicity of pigments, custom mixed for the task at hand (in the blacks basically per the article title)? You seem to have all of this right at your fingertips, so I would like to check! Assuming that's correct, and feel free to revert or advise otherwise, I will simply amend the text from "mineral pigments" (unreferenced) to "a complex multiplicity of pigments, including ochre (ref: Rapp, page 204), other mineral pigments (ref: Rapp, page 208; ref: Chalmin) and charcoal (Rapp, page 199)". This avoids any excessive detail and the clunkiness of a footnote, keeping the text concise but amplifying its content and precision considerably and giving inline references. FeatherPluma (talk) 01:25, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

No worries. Leroi-Gourham's 1982 book (which I don't have access to) actually covers both manganese and iron oxide pigments, see: The Dawn of Belief: Religion in the Upper Paleolithic of Southwestern Europe For our purposes this secondary source seems to trump the Archaeomineralogy one I gave earlier, though you could still use Rapp for the charcoal. Decoding the 2006 paper is rather pushing the boundaries of my brain envelope, I'm afraid, but we could provide it as a link somewhere. --Hillbillyholiday talk 01:49, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Hillbillyholiday and Langcliffe I will leave it up to others to decide if the style should be inline references, which I deployed, or perhaps a single footnote placeholder at the end of the sentence, pointing to a footnote with all the new references within that. There are stylistic advantages to one or other. Thank you very much indeed for your excellent sourcing assistance and helpful comments. FeatherPluma (talk) 02:09, 24 January 2016 (UTC)


"classic" should be changed to "classical" in the following passage:

" Nigel Spivey, a professor of classic art and archeology at the University of Cambridge, "

... otherwise, it is like calling a top astronomer in the world, "an astrologer" -- embarrassing for a scholarly piece. (talk) 15:16, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

pure conjecture[edit]

According to David Lewis-Williams and Jean Clottes who both studied presumably similar art of the San people of Southern Africa this type of art is spiritual in nature relating to visions experienced during ritualistic trance-dancing. These trance visions are a function of the human brain and so are independent of geographical location. Nigel Spivey, a professor of classic art and archeology at the University of Cambridge, has further postulated in his series, How Art Made the World, that dot and lattice patterns overlapping the representational images of animals are very similar to hallucinations provoked by sensory-deprivation. He further postulates that the connections between culturally important animals and these hallucinations led to the invention of image-making, or the art of drawing. Further extrapolations include the later transference of image-making behavior from the cave to megalithic sites, and the subsequent invention of agriculture to feed the site builders.[citation needed]

This entire paragraph is pure conjecture. None of it can be proved, it's just someone's half-baked opinion and it's not referenced. If you see the YouTube post "How Art Made the World" you'll find that it's just full of one guy's viewpoint. Anyone else's would be equally valid and so this is again, pure conjecture. And to state that agriculture was "invented" to feed the people who painted the caves is just ridiculous and plain wrong. Where do people get this stuff? They make it up! It should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:43, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

I tend to agree: Done. Thanks 47. --Hillbillyholiday talk 05:32, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
I do not aggree. All hypothesis is somehow "conjecture". Clottes and Lewis-Williams show a way of thinking. I think, that they are wrong. But interpreting images is always difficult, nvertheless neccessary. AND: There are much less trustful theories around here. So the paragraph should be in the article. Mr. bobby (talk) 10:04, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
It was uncited, that was my main motivation in removing it, but I've now added some refs for that paragraph. --Hillbillyholiday talk 10:25, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict)We've got Lewis-Williams book in further reading, I see. I agree that the agriculture bit is a problem. But the rest is about Entoptic phenomena (archaeology). Robert Laurens Kelly and David Hurst Thomas discuss it in their book on archaeology.[3] Paul Bahn's Journey Through the Ice Age offers an all to brief critique.[4] I'm not sure we should ignore it, however dubious it might be. Doug Weller talk 10:31, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, I already removed the agriculture bit. Perhaps you could add these sources? --Hillbillyholiday talk 10:36, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

It's still baloney. Nobody knows why the people who painted the cave did it. Nobody and so any explanation about it is just guesswork and should be stated as such. Anyone would be just as right to say they did it because God told them to do it. Lots of folks make their whole careers just guessing about stuff like this and the better it sounds the more people believe it. Why should Wikpedia editors be any different? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

clean up, add sources[edit]

Hi! SuggestBot got me here. I am going make a few neutralizing alterations in the process. Statements like "famous for" and prehistoric Sistine chapels give the impression we want to prove something. I replace them if i can. However - talk to me ATBWikirictor (talk) 14:09, 27 December 2016 (UTC)