You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Cave art’ category.

The decorated horse jawbone fragment from Kendrick’s Cave, Wales (BM 1959,1203.1)
Dated as about 14000 years old, the jawbone of a horse decorated with zigzag patterns from Kendrick’s Cave, near Llandudno in North Wales, is the oldest known work of art from Wales. While it was on loan to Llandudno Museum as part of the British Museum’s UK Partnership Programme, the opportunity arose to reproduce it as a hologram using the most accurate currently available imaging technology. This contribution describes how the jaw fragment was reproduced using the latest techniques in three-dimensional colour holography, developed at the Centre for Modern Optics (OpTIC) at Glyndŵr University, St Asaph.
The Kendrick’s Cave horse jawbone
In 1880 the lapidary Thomas Kendrick found a decorated chin fragment from a horse jawbone in a cave on Great Orme, Llandudno, Wales which was then named after him. The bone has a pattern of incised zig-zag lines on the underside and is the oldest work of art known from Wales. Dated to about 14000 years old it is one of only a small number of decorated Late Ice Age objects found in Britain. After Kendrick’s death the object disappeared but came to light again in London in 1959 when a new owner brought it into the British Museum and it was identified as the missing piece from the cave. As there was no museum service in Llandudno at that time, the British Museum acquired the object and it has been on permanent display ever since.
From Volume Four in the British Museum’s Technical Research Bulletin series.

Children’s ‘finger painting’ in one of the caves at Rouffignac, France. Photo PA
Writing in The Guardian today Caroline Davies reports that –
“Stone age toddlers may have attended a form of prehistoric nursery where they were encouraged to develop their creative skills in cave art, say archaeologists. Research indicates young children expressed themselves in an ancient form of finger-painting. And, just as in modern homes, their early efforts were given pride of place on the living room wall. A Cambridge University conference on the archaeology of childhood on Friday reveals a tantalising glimpse into life for children in the palaeolithic age, an estimated 13,000 years ago.”
More here and here.

Journey through the Ice Age by Paul G. Bahn and Jean Vertut

“The cave art and carved objects left by our Ice-Age ancestors have enthralled all who have seen them with their sophistication and sheer beauty. They provide a tantalizing glimpse of our ancient past and form our most direct link with the beliefs and preoccupations of Palaeolithic people – highlighting their accute powers of observation, their astonishing mastery of a wide range of artistic techniques and their sophisticated adaption to, and incorporation of, the natural shapes of the walls, bones and stones on which they drew.”

Beautifully illustrated with photographs by the late Jean Vertut and others. 240 pages. Twelve chapters, Notes, a Bibliography and an Index. ISBN 1 84188 030 2 or on Google books via the link above.

See also –


September 2021

Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,375 other followers

Twitter Feed

%d bloggers like this: