29. The Caves of Lascaux

“We are locked in history and they were not.” – Werner Herzog

We’re back! Thank you to everyone who participated in The Land of Desire’s anniversary celebrations. Extra thanks to those of you who shared my series on how to start a podcast, and those of you who contributed to the show’s Patreon page. This week, we’re kicking off a new series about the wildlife of France, with a look at the most famous – and most mysterious – animal kingdom in French history.

Episode 29: “The Caves”

Photos at Lascaux:

Since modern deterioration has damaged the paintings so severely, it’s best to look at the earliest color photos we have of these paintings, taken by LIFE photographer Ralph Morse:

Early Color Photographs at Lascaux Cave


Balter, Michael. “Cave Paintings Showed True Colors of Stone Age Horses”. WIRED Magazine. November 2011.

Beardsley, Eleanor. “Next To The Original, France Replicates Prehistoric Cave Paintings”. National Public Radio. January 2017.

Cosgrove, Ben. “LIFE at Lascaux: First Color Photos From Another World”. LIFE Magazine. May 2014.

Hammer, Joshua. “Finally, the Beauty of France’s Chauvet Cave Makes its Grand Public Debut”. Smithsonian Magazine. April 2015.

Hammer, Joshua. “Only A Handful of People Can Enter Chauvet Cave Each Year. Our Reporter Was One Of Them”. National Public Radio. April 2015.

Kraft, Scott. “Culture : Spelunker’s Passion Pays Off : Jean-Marie Chauvet and his small team of cave-diggers ‘hit the jackpot,’ finding a cache of Stone Age art.” Los Angeles Times. February 1995.

Thomas, Jr., Robert McG. “Marcel Ravidat Is Dead At 72; Found Lascaux Cave Paintings”. The New York Times. March 1995.

Further Reading:

This week, my further reading is simple – fire up your Netflix account and watch Werner Herzog’s stunning documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams! Let’s talk about it on The Land of Desire’s Facebook page afterward.