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The Cave of Isturitz (West Pyrenees, France): One Century of Research in Paleolithic Parietal Art

Author(s): Diego Garate | Aude Labarge | Olivia Rivero | Christian Normand | Joëlle Darricau

Journal: Arts
ISSN 2076-0752

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 253;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: cave art | Isturitz | Magdalenian | Basque Country | engravings

The cave of Isturitz is one of the most important archaeological sites of the prehistory of Western Europe. Human occupations followed each other in the cavity from at least the Middle Paleolithic to the Roman age. In 1913, Passermard started archaeological excavations there, and a calcite pillar was discovered next to the original entrance that was sculpted with a dozen of animal representations. In this excavation, the Magdalenian levels yielded a considerable quantity of portable art objects. In the last few years, several workers have resumed the study of those pieces. Since 2011, we have created a research team for the study of the parietal figures of the cave, as well as other elements, for example the objects embedded in the walls. We present here our first results, which improve in the understanding of the artistic activities of Upper Palaeolithic peoples by shedding light at the art analyzed in Isturitz.
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