Stone Age Cinema: Cave Art Animations?

Cave art - the first steps of the nascent human mind into expressing itself through drawing and painting? Or were these ancient people already far more accomplished artists than we give them credit for? New research is suggesting that superimposed images found in cave art are not bumbling attempts at depicting animals, but were in fact meant to be viewed as animated scenes.

In this video, researcher and film-maker Marc Azéma from the University of Toulouse Le Mirail in France reveals how several frames of an animation are superimposed in many animal sketches. A horse painting from the Lascaux caves in France, for example, is made up of many versions of the animal representing different positions of movement. In this video, Azema extracts the individual images and displays them in succession, demonstrating how they play back like a cartoon.

In other examples, motion is represented by juxtaposing drawings of a body in motion. Azéma creates another sequence by picking out motion frames to produce an animation of a running animal.

Apart from layered paintings, ancient humans may have used light tricks to evoke motion on cave walls. Engraved discs of bone have also been found which produce galloping animations when spun on a string, reminiscent of flipbooks.

Full story at New Scientist.


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red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
6 hours 54 min

It's certainly a humbling experience, when we keep finding evidence on just how sophisticated our 'primitive' ancestors really were.

Maybe the only difference between us & them is that we enjoy the fruits of the experience of many more generations behind.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
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10 weeks 4 days

New Scientist does an occult article...awe-some! :3

All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

brudesill's picture
Member since:
5 January 2013
Last activity:
4 years 31 weeks

The "light tricks" could be the light from a fire...