Jean Clottes, the French cave art expert, has written several books, including one on Chauvet Cave and one entitled Cave Art, an imposing coffee-table sized book with beautiful full-page color illustrations. However, it’s curious that a book with the title Cave Art is really about only three caves in France:
Chauvet, (35,000 – 22,000 years ago)
Lascaux, (22,000 – 17,000 years ago) and
Niaux, (from 11,000 years ago).
That list may be understandable in that the author is French and most familiar with French cave art in these areas. However it’s misleading and perpetuates a misconception.
At first glance, it seems to be a glaring omission of Spain’s notable cave art, especially that of Altamira, El Castillo, and other sites. Altamira cave paintings are so impressive that the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. One section of the ceiling of Altamira cave is shown in…
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