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Lascaux Caves

UNESCO Heritage List

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Lascaux Cave was discovered in September 1940 by a mechanic apprentice called Marcel Ravidat.
He and three other youngsters from the village of Montignac descended in the cave on the 12 of September 1940 and were the first visitors of the modern times to see the paintings left by the Cro-Magnon human (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) - the anatomically modern humans - who came to Europe between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago in an age called Upper Paleolithic!
In 1950 Lascaux Cave was one of the first archeological sites to use the new - at the time! - dating technique of Carbon 17, and its artifacts were date more precisely to around 17,000 years BC.
Due to the quantity and the quality of its paintings Lascaux is now a reference prehistoric cave listed since 1979 in the UNESCO's World Heritage.
The paintings on the walls and ceiling of the cave include some 600 figures - mostly animals, some of them representing species that are no extinct, like the "aurochs", the horned bovine that disappeared in the late Middle Ages - and 1,500 engravings.
The colors used were blacks, yellows, reds and whites, and were produced from charcoal, manganese, ocher and iron oxides, which were probably easily accessible locally and were not heated before their use.
Due to preservation concerns the cave cannot be visited.
Since 1983 the tourists can visit a cave called Lascaux II a replica of the Hall of the Bulls of the original cave.

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Address:Route de la Grotte de Lascaux, Montignac,
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