Cave Paintings | Between 12000 and 35000 Years Ago

15 February, 2011

Lascaux Cave, France.










Chauvet-Point-D’Arc Cave, France








Altamira Cave, Spain


1. What are cave paintings?

Cave paintings are man’s first attempt to communicate with others with symbols and images. It is THE very first form of visual communications! Cave paintings visually inform others in a creative and sophisticated way. Cave paintings are usually beautifully detailed and coloured, and can be found on the inside of cave walls and ceilings.

2. How did prehistoric man create cave paintings?

Prehistoric man created cave paintings by making brushes and paints from various objects. To make the brushes, some materials used were: sticks, leaves, stones, and animal hair. As for the paints, they consisted of mixing together: water, plant juice, charcoal, animal blood, soil, and hematite (a form of iron oxide-the colour of a US penny).

3. Why did prehistoric man create these paintings?

Prehistoric man probably created these paintings to give instructional aid, which helped teach to hunt or techniques used for hunting, to tell a story or review an event that has already happened, and the last possibility was for religious or magical purposes, or for hoping and wishing the image may come true.

4. What is “speleology” ?

Speleology is the scientific study of caves. They study history, structure, make-up, physical properties, how they formed (speleogenisis), change over time (speleomorphology), and life forms found within or outside the caves.


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