4
Annexes

Distribution of cave art techniques

The cave art techniques identified in the cave can be divided into two groups: the various procedures for engraving (using a tool or fingers) and for applying pigment (charcoal, haematite, clay etc.). For the latter, "crayons" or paint may have been used (implying the preparation of the material and a means for its application). This results in linear red or black drawings, outlines or stump-drawings, flat areas of paint for figurative (small horse heads) and non-figurative motifs (dots, etc.). There are also numerous examples of mixed techniques, combining drawing with charcoal and engraving with flint, or charcoal and paint, etc.

Since the discovery of the cave, the cave art has been perceived as two separate and partially intertwined sections: a "red" sector corresponding roughly to the first chambers and a "black" sector, located in the deeper chambers of the cave where stump-drawing with charcoal seems to dominate. In the area where these two major spatial segments meet, engraving is the most common technique, on the rocky pendants around the collapse and the walls of the Skull Chamber, thereby constituting a kind of "white" sector.

The preferential use of a technique is above all based on its feasibility; in other words, on the geological nature of the walls available (soft, hard, plastic surfaces) and their accessibility. It appears that the black or red drawings cannot be carried out on surfaces covered with clay, unlike the finger traces and engravings: the distribution of the techniques is, therefore, also linked to that of the textures of the walls. Conversely, the properties of the media may have played a role in inspiring and stimulating the prehistoric artist.

Preservation also has a non-negligible impact on the distribution of these techniques as we see them today. For example, red paintings remain beneath all of the large drawings in charcoal in the End Chamber. Some correspond to the first phases of the cave art on the site and are currently obliterated or partially erased or destroyed by black drawings or by bear clawmarks. Similarly, in the Hillaire Chamber, the Aurignacians themselves have erased ancient black drawings or engravings with flint.

Anglais
Panoramique associé: 
Salle Hillaire - Sud
Type de notice: 
Focus
Auteurs: 
Carole FRITZ
Gilles TOSELLO
Marc AZÉMA
Jean CLOTTES
Médias: 
Taille: 
1x1