Lascaux IV   
18 Oct 2022 18 Oct 2022     Dordogne, Sarlat            L M S        
 
 
 
 
 

In September 1940, Marcel Ravidat's dog Robot fell into a hole made by a fallen tree. The hole revealed an entrance to a large cave whose walls were covered with depictions of animals. Marcel shared the discovery with three friends and then with a local priest who doubled as an archaeologist. And the rest, as they say, is history.

For fifteen years the cave, called Lascaux, was open for viewing, but the presence of humans changed the environment and the cave paintings began to deteriorate. The cave was then closed to the public and replaced with the first in a series of replicas. Lascaux IV is the fourth replica of one of the most famous caves in the Dordogne. It is just outside the small riverside town of Montignac, which is a 30 minute drive from Sarlat.

Lascaux IV is viewable only by guided tour. Most tours are in French but a few are in English. The cave replica is very realistic. The building, which you can see in a photo below, follows the contours of the actual cave. The replica is cold and dark inside, and almost as claustrophobic as a real cave. No photographs are allowed in this part of the tour. The tour is followed by what they call the museum which features sections of the cave art hung from the ceiling. The photos below are from the museum. The tour also includes a couple of short films, one of which broaches some of the controversy surrounding the interpretation of the art depicted in the caves. While we were traveling one of the books I read was Gregory Curtis' The Cave Painters for an introduction to the prehistoric cave art of Spain and France.

 
 
 
 
Montignac
 
 
 
 
Montignac
 
 
 
 
Montignac
 
 
 
Lascaux IV
 

The building shape follows the contours of the surroundings and doesn't have a strong presence whereas the interior is large, modern, and light, well except for the dark cave replica.

 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV
 

The building shape follows the contours of the surroundings and doesn't have a strong presence whereas the interior is large, modern, and light, well except for the dark cave replica.

 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV
 

The building shape follows the contours of the surroundings and doesn't have a strong presence whereas the interior is large, modern, and light, well except for the dark cave replica.

 
 
 
Model of Lascaux cave
 

The odd-looking white object is a tiny model of the cave.

 
 
 
 
Model of Lascaux cave
 

The odd-looking white object is a tiny model of the cave.

 
 
 
 
Model of Lascaux cave
 

The odd-looking white object is a tiny model of the cave.

 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
Paul at the Lascaux IV
 
 
 
 
Paul at the Lascaux IV
 
 
 
 
Paul at the Lascaux IV
 
 
 
Yours truly
 
 
 
 
Yours truly
 
 
 
 
Yours truly
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV museum
 
 
 
And we are back to charming Sarlat
 
 
 
 
And we are back to charming Sarlat
 
 
 
 
And we are back to charming Sarlat
 
 
 
Lascaux IV
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV
 
 
 
 
Lascaux IV