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Prehistoric Cave Artworks in Southern France and Beyond

Uncover the significance of Paleolithic cave art in France to understand prehistoric humanity
Preview Lecture
Watch on your schedule, you will receive a link to watch the lecture online immedately upon purchase.
1 hour and 25 minutes
Product Type
Lecture Details
Photos & Highlights
  • Presented by the same world-class experts as our walking tours, Context Lectures highlight must-see attractions, reveal hidden landmarks, and explore the best things to do during your trip so you don’t miss a thing.
Lecture Description
The art on the walls of prehistoric caves in the Southeast of France has just as much subtext and cultural significance to unravel as the art on the walls in the Louvre Museum. And historians through the ages have found those “rudimentary” works even more fascinating to read between the lines of. Who painted them? For what purposes was it created? What does this art tell us about this human species both so close and so far from us? 

This lecture provides a unique opportunity to contextualize the multiple interpretations of these paintings and engravings – and link together the newly unearthed scholarship enshrouding these paintings’ creative origins. 
Meet Your Expert

Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand, Ph.D. has long-standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide and lecturer in this country for French citizens.

After a brief presentation of Paleolithic cave art, we will focus on some examples that challenge our schemas of understanding and show a greater complexity to human thought at that time. We will particularly focus on the paintings and engravings made in the caves in South France – Chauvet, Lascaux, Cosquer, Rouffignac, and les Trois-Frères.
We will conclude by taking a step back, geographically, to explore several painted caves in Africa and Southeast Asia. We will also question whether the creation of this art was achieved by homo sapiens or another early species. 

Led by Guillaume Durand, Ph.D., this lecture will provide an in-depth exploration of parietal art, mainly in Southeast France. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with increased knowledge and understanding of what is considered the very first artistic testimony of mankind.
How do I access the lecture?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive an email with a link to stream the lecture on the Context Travel website. You can also access your past purchases anytime under My Orders. Please ensure you are logged into your account to open the streaming page. 

Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our lectures have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded lectures typically run for 60 minutes.

How can I share this lecture with friends or family?
You are welcome to watch together with friends or family but each person viewing on their own device will need to purchase the lecture individually.

How long does my access to the lecture last?
Once you purchase a lecture, you are welcome to view it as many times as you like and your access does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded lectures are final upon purchase. Please contact us at digital@contexttravel.com if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.
42 Reviews (4.93)

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Excellent information, well organized, wonderful imagery
Highly recommend this Context seminar! Fascinating in-depth look at Prehistoric Cave Art, led by the expert Dr. Durand. Come for the up-close photos, stay for the history, the theories on why our ancestors made this art, and how recent discoveries changed everything. Great value! Be an armchair explorer!
I really enjoyed and learned a lot from Dr. Durand's presentation on cave art in France and Spain. The class was extremely well organized and full of information concerning the current state of research on cave painting. I would love to learn even more about cave art including the material culture surrounding this art. Well done!