Culture Connect Featured Event

Paleolithic Paintings: Art and Science Inside Chauvet Cave
Ticket Price: $10 general admission; $5 for students with ID.
For Tickets, Contact: Organization

Hidden away and undisturbed in the mountains of southern France for 20,000 years, the discovery of Chauvet Cave in 1994 revealed some of humankind's earliest and most extraordinary paintings. Images of horses, reindeer, lions, bears, rhinos, and numerous other species adorned the ancient cave walls with an artistry so sophisticated it was initially believed the images were relatively recent at 10,000 to 15,000 years old. Yet, radiocarbon dating showed that the earliest paintings were created 35,000 years ago, placing them in the Paleolithic era. Since its discovery people have had limited access to the cave due to environmental dangers and preservation concerns. However, preeminent filmmaker Werner Herzog was given unprecedented access to Chauvet Cave to create his 2010 film Cave of Forgotten Dreams.
Zach Zorich, Senior Editor of Archaeology magazine, has written about the Chauvet Cave and interviewed Werner Herzog on the filming of Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Zorich’s talk will explore what archaeology tells us about the human race when the Chauvet Cave paintings were created, who and what lived in Chauvet Cave, the cave painting techniques used by the ancient artists, the dangers facing cave art sites, and what the ongoing research and viewpoints from other scholars reveal about Chauvet Cave. He will also discuss Herzog’s view on cave art, the inadequacy of modern imagery, and how people viewing art construct their own parallel narratives.
The Friends of the Office of State Archaeology (FOSA), the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center at UConn, and Archaeology Society of Connecticut (ASC) sponsor the presentation.