Discover the cave



Prehistorian specialising in cave art

Associate researcher at TRACES Mixed Research Unit (U.M.R. 5608, CNRS-University of Toulouse Le Mirail-Culture) and at the Cartailhac Centre for the Research and Study of Prehistoric Art (CREAP). He obtained his PhD in Prehistory in 2003 (The depiction of movement in Palaeolithic cave art in France). Since 1995, he has been carrying out campaigns to record art from various different caves: Chauvet, Ebbou, Colombier and La Baume-Latrone. He gradually included 2D and 3D computer graphics in his work (three-dimensional numbering and 3D scanning).

Aside from this solid experience in the field, over the years Marc Azéma has become a specialist in depicting movement in Palaeolithic art and the ethological approach to animation. In his book La préhistoire du cinéma (The prehistory of the cinema), he puts forward his theories on the Palaeolithic origins of graphic narration and motion pictures. His ideas are based to a large extent on Chauvet Cave and can be seen in a 52-min documentary entitled Quand Sapiens faisait son cinéma (When Sapiens made films), shown in October 2015.

"Nos lointains ancêtres faisaient déjà du cinéna" (Our distant ancestors were already making films). He has made documentaries, organised exhibitions and footage (excavations and studies of decorated caves) often including sequences with re-enactments in synthetic 3D images (all periods of history and prehistory). "Passé simple: productions de films, documentaires et images de synthèse 3D" (Simple past: films, documentaries and synthetic 3D images). 

He has been a member of the scientific team tasked with studying the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave in Ardèche since 2001. He works with Jean Clottes on recording and analysing the pendants in the Hillaire Chamber and the right-hand wall in the End Chamber. He has also collaborated with Bernard Gély on the publication of a book about the mammoths in the cave. He is also in charge of archiving the video footage of the team's work, and has filmed and uploaded interviews with team members onto this website.


Horse Alcove,Three small mammoths,Four bison heads in a column,Right-hand wall panel,Signs Panel,Archaeological sites,Large Lion Panel,Engraved Ibex,Black Bear,Pendant Engravings,Distribution of cave art techniques