Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog (2010)

Since its discovery in 1994 it was quickly realized that the Chauvet Cave of France harbors one of the most impressive art ever been studied belonging to Aurignacian. The Werner Herzog documentary articulates the findings in his characteristic story telling style.

Archeologists had a bitter experience in opening such caves to public. The Lascaux cave paintings have been sadly damaged beyond repair due to increased humidity from visitors breath. Happily we can take a virtual tour of the Chauvet cave with mesmerizing 360 degree zoomable view of almost every corner. Moreover, a replica of the entire cave has been built a few kilometers away from the original site using state of the art laser lidar technology. Perhaps the most fascinating feature of this 30,000 year old paintings is that the artists invented “motion picture” technique by depicting animals with multiple overlapping drawings.

Starting from the middle paleolithic going back to 100 thousand years Human intellect shows strong signs of complex behavior. During that time period many ice ages came and went and Human cognitive capacity were in place to track seasons, animal movements and resources spatially distributed over large areas. Archaeological findings from the prehistoric ice ages are earliest examples of representation art in the form of graphic and symbolic expression.

 

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