Cave of Forgotten Dreams

I found the film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” to be extremely interesting. It made me think about how intricate and intelligent the past humans were. We look at ourselves and think how smart and advanced we are as a society today, but if we take the time to look back and realize, we can see that the people of the past were just as advanced. I thought Chauvet Cave was absolutely beautiful. The gorgeous paintings of the animals, the beautiful stalagmites all add to the beauty of the cave. Chauvet Cave was discovered by accident when Christian Hillaire, Eliette Brunel-Deschamps and Jean-Marie Chauvet were walking along and felt some drafts coming from in between the rocks. In the cave, fossilized remains of animals were found, cave paintings dating back to 25,000+ years and rock formations. The paintings (which are the main attraction of the cave) depict many animals such as bison, horses, a panther and even a woman’s body with the head of a bison. The paintings in the cave are so detailed; some of the paintings are shown with more than the actual amount of body parts such as legs. This gives the illusion of movement to the pictures when (assuming) people would walk through the cave with torches or another light source. It was presumed that the cave was used for none other than just painting. There were no signs of living within the cave such as makeshift kitchens, beds, or even pottery. The paintings in the cave were used to track the movements of the people and there was even a male identified who had painted red dots by the entrance of the cave who had a slightly crooked pinky. His slightly crooked pinky allowed archaeologists and other scientists to track his movement deeper into the cave. Besides learning about the cave, I also learned that women of that time were depicted to be heftier, with wide hips, large breasts and meant to look “extra healthy.” Beauty 25,000 years ago was a lot different from societies version of beauty today. Today, women who are beautiful are expected to be a size 0-8 and anyone larger is considered overweight. While back then, it was a bonus to have a woman who was larger than a size 14. Learning about the past is an interesting topic that I look forward to learning more about. Chauvet Cave is not a cave of forgotten dreams but a cave of past dreams.



One thought on “Cave of Forgotten Dreams

  1. I strongly agree with your point that the artwork found in Chauvet Cave shows how intelligent and talented past humans were. We often think of these past humans as barbaric and savage, and maybe even stupid. Perhaps this is because they did not have the advanced technology that we have today, or maybe it is due to Hollywood’s representation of the “caveman” in popular movies and books. Just think of all those movies where the bumbling caveman is brought back to life and struggles to live in modern day society. However, a look inside the Chauvet Caves shows that these people were anything but barbaric and dumb.
    I too was amazed by the paintings found in the prehistoric Chauvet Caves. The animals were so amazingly detailed and I was surprised how they used techniques like adding extra legs to show motion. Those paintings are probably ten times better than something I could produce, even with modern day art equipment, which is something else I find outstanding. We take art for granted sometimes in a world with ready-made paint and brushes and tools to use, but these prehistoric people had to discover how to make their own paint and tools out of the world around them in order to create these beautiful paintings.
    I just wish we knew more about what these paintings represented. We know that the cave was used for ceremonies and rituals, and the painters created art to tell stories of the world they saw around them, but we will never know exactly what they were trying to say with their art, we can only guess.

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