In addition to being fascinating and mysterious, the discoveries of prehistory transport us through time, into worlds and customs that we often know too little about. But one thing is certain: art, understood as a way of expressing oneself and leaving a trace, has always existed, and it reappears in our eyes sometimes in the most spectacular and unexpected ways.
Just as it happened in southwestern France, at the Volp Caves, a set of three large caves where some of the most significant Paleolithic artistic representations of the Old Continent are hidden. Although prehistoric painting is quite common, this does not apply to sculpture. It is here, in the Tuc d’Audoubert cave, that two incredible bison sculpted in clay were discovered, works that date back to 13,000 years before Jesus Christ.
image credit: historydailypix/Instagram
It’s surprising and confusing to think of such a long period of time as 15,000 years, isn’t it? Yet these bison, carved side by side, have been there all this time in the French cave, along with many other finds of enormous importance. Hundreds of testimonies have been found in this place, all of them useful and fundamental to understanding the prehistoric Magdalenian civilizations as well as possible.
Discovered in 1912 for the first time, these caves have, over the years, given researchers new reasons to marvel. The ancient Magdalenian, whose remains have also been found in Spain, hunted reindeer and other large animals and used to leave traces of their presence through wall art. The caves of Volp are indeed an inexhaustible source of discoveries in this direction, and the sculpture of bison is certainly one of the jewels.
image credit: Unknown/Wikimedia
At 45 centimeters high, it is famous and fascinating for the richness of the details with which the bison, probably a male and a female, have been depicted. Not to mention that the work, despite its 15,000 years, has been preserved in very good condition. It is astounding to think of the hands that, in that now far distant time, created her, the minds that thought, and the lost world of which she was a part. It only remains for us to admire it and take the opportunity to learn more about our origins.