Talking Stone Rock Art Coso America USA Documentary Film

The Cave Art Paintings of the Niaux Cave

The Purpose of the Niaux Cave Paintings

Page 5/5


Dr. Jean Clottes stated that three years ago, he and his wife Renee, now sadly departed, decided to bequeath his life's work in prehistory - over 4,000 books, numerous journals, archives and reprints, and some 60,000 slides - to the Park of Prehistory. The collection of works are now being housed in a purpose-built documentation centre, named after the eminent prehistorian. To celebrate this, a new and extensive exhibition entitled 'The Art of Origins, Origins of Art' was planned to coincide with the Center's opening. Jean Clottes hopes that this will not only attract researchers, but that it will also encourage the donation of books, archives and even objects from both academics and members of the public.

The new International Center of Rock Art includes exhibition space of 500 sq.m., a 120-seat auditorium and a library. With this new development, the Park of Prehistory at Tarascon-sur-Ariege achieves 'museum' status.
Bison Cave Painting Niaux Cave
Bison Cave Painting from the Niaux Cave
Bison Cave Painting Niaux Cave
Bison Cave Painting from the Niaux Cave
Why did the Magdalenian people use the depths of the cave, and what meaning did they give to the inscriptions they left there? Studies have shown that the images were often superimposed - the successive layers of lines illustrate the contributions of successive artists. Why was this? Was the painting not complete? Or does it suggest that process was more important than product? This was a process that continued for a great length of time.

The themes depicted suggest that the paintings were not the expression of material, utilitarian or purely artistic preoccupations. Instead, the symbols and the animals represented expressions of a spiritual conception of existence. In a word - religion.

The fact that these paintings and engravings were made deep inside caves where nobody lived suggests they were endowed with spiritual significance. Man creates gods in his own image. At this time, Palaeolithic humankind was surrounded by animals, and therefore part of this faunal matrix, not above it.
niaux cave art graffiti
Bison Cave Painting from the Niaux Cave
calcite deposit on an ibex niaux cave
Ibex Cave Painting from the Niaux Cave
Was it possible that the paintings represented this spiritual connection? If this is so, and based on our observations of modern hunter-gatherers in other parts of the world, we can hypothesize that these paintings were the work of shamans. Jean Clottes and David Lewis-Williams believe that the shamanic stance would suggest that the rock face in the cave is the 'veil' between the 'world' and the 'spirit world'; why else would an artist paint an ibex passing into the rock?

Shamanism has multiple components, but there are several fundamental features. A shamanic society believes in a cosmos in which several worlds exist. Shamans, in particular, have direct access to these other worlds - to cure, to maintain, to restore and to ensure. They may also receive spirit-helpers in animal form. Fluidity characterizes shamanism - fluidity between the different worlds, between the genders, between humans and animals. Clearly, this concept is a working and logical hypothesis. Not all palaeolithic rock art can be ascribed to shamanic practices, but this concept does help us take a step toward understanding our ancestors' attitude to the supernatural and their ways of approaching their own gods.

The Niaux Cave Paintings | Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
The Niaux Cave Film | Download from the iShop | Buy on DVD
Palaeolithic Cave Art and Depth Psychology by Dr. Ilse Vickers

bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates

Email

First Name

Last Name

Country

bradshaw foundation twitter BradshawFND
iShop
bradshaw foundation ishop tshirt
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us News Articles Twitter Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes List of Research Papers Other Websites Contact the Foundation