Excavating the Birthplace of Art
The First Full Report by Jean Clottes
• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Thames & Hudson
• Language: English
• ISBN: ISBN 0-500-51119-5
The discovery of the Chauvet Cave in December 1994 by speleologists Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire was a remarkable event. The incredible age of the paintings, which dated back 35,000 years, and their exceptionally high quality were the source of both astonishment and admiration, and the images of mammoths, rhinoceroses, lions, bears, horses and bison have since been seen all around the world.
Several years ago, a team of specialists from many different disciplines, led by Dr Jean Clottes, began the first detailed scientific study of the cave. This collaborative project has been amazingly fruitful and the cave has slowly revealed many of the secrets of its origins: its dating, the traces left by animals and humans, the artistic techniques that were used, and the themes of the paintings and engravings. New light has also been cast on this unique art by art historians and ethnologists.
All of these discoveries are published together here for the first time, accompanied by hundreds of colour illustrations, allowing the public to share not only this new knowledge but also the thrill and fascination of looking back into an ancient world, so many thousands of years old.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Bradshaw Foundation Book Review
|Jean Clottes is a prominent French prehistorian. He was born in the French Pyrénées in 1933 and began to study archaeology in 1959, while teaching high school. He initially focused on Neolithic dolmens, which were the topic of his 1975 Ph.D. thesis at the University of Toulouse. After being appointed director of prehistoric antiquities for the Midi-Pyrénées in 1971, he began to study prehistoric cave art in order to fulfill the responsibilities of that position. In the following years he led a series of excavations of prehistoric sites in the region. In 1992, he was named General Inspector for Archaeology at the French Ministry of Culture; in 1993 he was appointed Scientific Advisor for prehistoric rock art at the French Ministry of Culture. He formally retired in 1999, but remains an active contributor to the field.
To date he has written over 300 scientific papers, and has edited, co-edited, written, or co-authored a total of over 20 books. He has also lectured around the world, taught at the University of Toulouse and the University of California at Berkeley, and engaged in numerous public outreach and professional service activities. He has received several honors from the French government and also from the Blue Tuareg people of the Sahara Desert, who made him an honorary Tuareg in 2007.
More about Jean Clottes