No, I haven’t been down to the Périgord area in the south-west of France to visit the Lascaux Caves, only to the south-west Paris border, the exhibition area at Porte de Versailles. There you can until the end of August visit a temporary Lascaux Caves exhibition.
I went a Monday afternoon…
… and the crowds were not to be compared with what you can find e.g. during the International Agricultural Show (see previous post).
The Lascaux Caves were discovered in 1940 with an amazing number of wall paintings. According to the latest dating methods, they are approximately 20.000 years old. The Caves opened to public in 1948, but were closed in 1963 because of risk of – and already noted - deterioration. The Caves can now only be visited very shortly by a limited number of scientists. A close-by replica was opened in 1983. If you wish, you can read more about it all here.
At the exhibition, the most spectacular part is of course a few copies of the wall paintings. In the Caves most of them represented animals which dominated the region those days – equines, stags, cattle, bison… but also rhinoceros, bears, birds, felines… Different light settings allow you to see them all differently.
Some Cro-Magnon “humans” have been added… and it’s mentioned that they were like us – same body, same brain and the same intellectual capacities. “If they were dressed in modern clothes, you would not notice them on the street.”
The exhibition is well organised, you can watch videos, read about the Caves and their history… and see some examples of what has been found on the spot, all kinds of tools (including a needle) and also some “jewellery”.