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September 12

Cave Painting of a Horse

The cave paintings signify an intellectual leap in human evolution and reveal humans’ capacity to examine and interpret their surroundings.

1940: The Writing on the Wall
Cave paintings are discovered in Lascaux, France
Estimated to be about 16,000 years old, the paintings in a network of caves found by four teenage boys are rare examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic era. Here in a region called Lascaux, hundreds of painted animals are visible on the caves’ walls, ranging from bison to stags to horses.

There are also geometric figures and patterns of dots that some say correlate with constellations. Some of the paintings show a sophisticated grasp of concepts like perspective and depth, too. Art historians say that the paintings indicate some of our oldest ancestors’ ability to express themselves in art.
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