Chauvet Cave paintings; is it literacy?

Posted by rlwalte2 on July 27, 2011

Is the ‘oldest art in the world’ an example of multiliteracy? A little background: in 1994, a hermetically sealed cave in France was discovered by three explorers. Inside this cave exists dozens of cave paints of various animals; cave bears, lions, mammoths, rhinos, horse, bison, etc. Radiocarbon dating pins the paintings at some 30,000 years ago. Recently a documentary surrounding the paintings was released, entitled “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”. The film has been circulating film festivals around the country and as I viewed the film at our local film fest the issue of multiliteracies came to me. I contemplated whether this was or was not considered a facet of our exploration here. Although no text exists, I feel the paintings were a form of literacy. Some animals are drawn with 8 legs as to portray movement, which I found fascinating. Whether they were trying to communicate with each other, paint for religious/sacrificial purposes, or potentially to leave a piece of history for the future, I believe this is a fascinating gem of literacy to debate.


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