Certain days in history, mark some incredible events. This one, occurred around this date, in 1940.
A few kids were out walking and cavorting, in France on that day. They were near Montignac, which is in the southwest region. Yes. Teenagers. French teenagers. Probably smoking cigarettes, and wearing black berets tilted slightly to the left. The one guy, Marcel Ravidat, was following a dog. He was the first one to find a funny looking entrance to a cave. He summoned his friends, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas. And their dog.
They stood looking at the very narrow entrance for a few moments, deciding whether to go in, or go on. Back and forth it went. They asked their pal, Simon. Then, Simon Says….
Anyway. That very patient dog, finally shook her head, and walked into the cave down the long shaft. The teenage boys followed.
What they discovered was the Lascaux Cave and its collection of prehistoric cave paintings. It is among the finest examples of prehistoric art, from the Upper Paleolithic period.
The boys are always credited with the discovery. But it was really the dog. Her name was the French word for Robot. Which is spelled Robot. But you pronounce it with a rolling R and a boo at the end. And of course, all sorts of attitude. Rrrrrrroboooo.
I love the Lascaux Paintings. They are 20,000 years old. Imagine. People of that time, making these huge and detailed paintings on the walls of caves. Of course, in France. It had to be France. They probably had Cave Espresso after.
But the paintings. This particular group is mostly of animals — equines predominate. There are 90 paintings of stags. Also represented are cattle, bison, felines, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros, and a human. The animals, always in the “spotlight” for this place, are the four huge, black bulls. They are in the “Hall of the Bulls.” And, this should give you an idea of the immensity. One of the bulls is 17 feet long – the largest animal discovered so far in cave art. Claude the Caveman and his trusty Paint Palette. Or Claudette.
The timeline of our human history is incredible to read about. Homo sapiens emerged about 200,000 years ago.
And then these cave painters, about 20,000 years ago. Newbies from the Upper Paleolithic Era.
And it was during this time that there is the first evidence of organized settlements. Like campsites, some with storage pits. And of course, as we see in the caves, their artistic work blossomed. Not just cave painting, but also petroglyphs, which are carvings and engravings on bone or ivory.
The first evidence of human fishing is also found from this time.
I guess back then if you were not in the Artsy-Fartsy crowd, you could get your little cooler, your Budweisers, and your fishing pole.
So it comes as no surprise that more complex social groupings emerged. I can see it now. The painters, and then the group that likes to hang out by the lake and fish.
The main thing about this entire story is human interaction. Friends discovering a cave. Friendships emerging among the early humans. As long as we’ve been walking around on two legs, I imagine friendships have occurred.
And of course, always a dog, in the way of a friend. Robot.
Yes, our friends. I certainly am glad for mine. But. Albeit, these days, the only phone calls I get are from “Potential Spam” and “Robo-Caller.”
Both seem pretty nice, but they hardly let me get in a word edgewise. And, neither one likes to paint. I don’t see it going anywhere. But at least I have my trusty dogs.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. — Proverbs 27:9
Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there. — Unknown
“Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at the stars because we are human?”
― Neil Gaiman , Stardust