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Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc: a paleolithic Louvre…

SkyHarbor, 2012/12/30 

First discovered in 1994, the cave was entered via a tiny well-hidden crevice – the original entrance having been obliterated by a rock slide well over 20,000 years ago… resulting in a perfectly pristine paleolithic site. Learning from the sad experience at the famous Lascaux cave (~100 km distant), where allowing tourist access resulted in severe (non-malicious) degradation of the cave walls, entrance to Chauvet is very strictly controlled.

What was found here is astounding art from 25-35+ thousand years ago… much older than any other cave art yet found in Europe, nearly twice as old as Lascaux. We see no gradual development from primitive to advanced here. It seems to have burst forth fully formed. The birth of human art. And music. And spirit.

You must watch. Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” follows:

La Grotte Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc

Wikipedia: Chauvet Cave

Wikipedia: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2010)


  1. SkyHarbor wrote,

    It is important, I believe, to understand that nobody ever lived in la Grotte Chauvet. It was set aside as a ‘special’ place from the beginning. The art was all well hidden from casual eyes.

    The concepts of ‘fluidity’ and ‘permeability’ mentioned in the film are key to grasping (however tenuously) the mindset of these people. The shamans would routinely ‘transform’ partially or completely into the animals pictured on the limestone walls in order to commune with the spirits of the beasts they depended on for their survival. The cave walls were ‘permeable’ in that you might pass back and forth from the spirit world to the living world when and where conditions were ‘right’. Even the spirits of long dead ancestors were accessible in this same manner.

    The film is mesmerising for all its wonderful and mysterious images, but is considerably enhanced by the music of Ernst Reijseger, a Dutch cellist and composer. He often uses choral effects here, which gives the impression of a strange cathedral choir. Perfectly appropriate.

    If you haven’t yet seen it, YOU MUST WATCH THIS FILM.
    (btw: set resolution to maximum [480p] for best results)

    Comment on 2012/12/30 @ 1:44 pm

  2. byronius wrote,

    I will i will i will.

    Comment on 2012/12/30 @ 2:16 pm

  3. SkyHarbor wrote,

    You better you better you better.

    It’s really extraordinary and guaranteed to change your day… for the better!

    Comment on 2012/12/30 @ 3:36 pm

  4. New Worlds Weam » Childhood’s End*: a brief on belief… wrote,

    [...] While we find some tantalizing hints in our cousins, the (sadly now extinct) Homo neanderthalensis… the first indisputable evidence of ‘full blown’ consciousness comes in South Africa ~80K years before-present (BP), and exploding in southern Europe around 35K years BP with our own species (H. sapiens) [see also Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave art]… [...]

    Pingback on 2013/04/27 @ 9:08 pm

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