Seeing Is Believing!

February 1995

This link will demonstrate the power of the Internet about as well as anything.

The cover story of the February 13, 1995 TIME magazine is called "Secrets of the Stone Age". It offers "An exclusive look at the magical cave paintings that shed new life on early humans." The following Internet site will give you a front row view of four paintings (2/19/95).

This site has been on the Internet for three weeks prior to the TIME magazine article. If this is your first visit, prepare yourself for a stunning visual treat. But first, just a little background information for you.

The following text gives a good explanation of what to expect at this link. Equally interesting, is what to expect from the Internet. I wish I could credit the source for the text below, but it is unknown. However, it represents the best of what the Internet has to offer and a perspective that can be appreciated by all who are now online.

Read on, and enjoy!

Jon Hazen
Salem, Oregon

This link is from the French Ministry of Culture's homepage, which leads to text (in French) and four images -- and what hopefully will become even more images and online text -- about the recent Combe d'Arc (Arde`che) prehistoric cave art discovery: caves larger and perhaps more beautiful than those at Lascaux.

There are two things remarkable to me about this resource. First, of course, is that it describes what may become one of the more significant discoveries in all art history. But in addition, and even more interesting perhaps to people here, thanks to networking's wonders it has been only a month since the cave paintings were found and suddenly everyone in the online world can read about and even see them.

Compare this time lag -- a month -- to the time it has taken for us to gain access to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Compare it to the notorious timelags on the publication of national bibliographies historically: these too might be sped up now, like everything else which takes advantage of the nets. This is not, of course, to ignore the non-technical aspects of the publication process, which were notorious in the case of the Scrolls. Nor is it to minimize the dangers of too-rapid publication. But, a month!

The caves were found in December 1994, the French Minister of Culture announced the discovery January 17, 1995 the images and text appeared online on January 24, 1995. The homepage appears to have been assembled by Michel Bottin, and it was announced by Bruno Mannoni, both of the Ministry. If you don't yet have Mosaic, or its NetScape / NetCruiser / etc. incarnations, lynx will get you at least to the text. But you really should see the images online -- not Kodansha quality yet, but one can feel that coming -- to appreciate the full significance of the event.


Publisher's Note - October 20, 2000: The photos at this link no longer include the original images published in 1995 when the text above was written. I remember the original collection of wonderful high resolution color images of bison and horses and more. I wish they would put them all online for everyone to examine, dream, and be inspired. Maybe now there's a book with these images. For those with a special interest, maybe someone will let me know if one has been published **.

** There is indeed a very fine, profusely illustrated book called "Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave -- The Oldest Known Paintings in the World." It was written by the discoverers of the cave, Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire. It was originally published in French in 1995, just months after the discovery. The English translation was published in 1996 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. of New York. The ISBN is 0-8109-3232-6

-- Tim Bogar (Thanks, Tim. -editor)

-Jon Hazen, editor/publisher

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