Explore Scenes from the Stone Age and get up-close-and-personal with astonishing artwork made by the hands of our early ancestors! Delve into the discovery of the caves, examine ancient tools and weapons, and find out how high-tech imaging has helped us learn more about these prehistoric paintings—now closed to the public to preserve their fragile condition.
Take a look at just a few of the exhibition’s most memorable experiences that you’ll enjoy during your visit.
Pictured here are two of the boys, Marcel Ravidat and Jacques Marsal (center) with their teacher, Léon Laval (far left), and Henri Breuil (far right), a famous prehistorian. After the war, Marsal devoted the rest of his life as chief guide at the cave until his death in 1989.
Walk through unbelievably lifelike reproductions of the original paintings that not only allow you to enjoy these ancient masterpieces without a flight to France, but also lead to new understanding of this elusive Paleolithic site.
In this photo, the “copyist” employs natural pigments similar to those used by the original artist and is guided by high-resolution photographs and stereoscopic pairs to ensure accuracy and precision of the replication.
© Philippe Psaila
Find out how cutting-edge laser mapping, high-resolution digital photos, and geodesic modeling have made it possible to produce incredibly accurate, life-sized replicas of the cave paintings. (The real cave is no longer accessible to the public due to conservation concerns.)
The first step in duplicating the paintings is to perform a full 3-D scan in order to create a topographical map of its walls.
© Philippe Psaila
Come face-to-face with lifelike replicas of our ancient ancestors who painted Lascaux. Created by famous French sculptor Elisabeth Daynès, these figures reveal that Cro-Magnon people weren’t knuckle-dragging “cave men”—they were early Homo sapiens just like us.
Bones and artifacts from around Lascaux helped the artist piece together her portrait of this family, right down to the elaborate stitching on their clothing.
© E. Daynès
Examine amazing Paleolithic objects from the Dordogne region, including ornaments, tools, and weapons. Pictured here is the “Great Spear of Lascaux,” made of reindeer antler.
Gouges that appear in the painted animals quite high on the cave walls and ceiling may be the result of scraping from spearheads attached to poles during rituals.
© J.G Marcillaud, Service Départemental de l’Archéologie
Come meet a woman who lived near Lascaux around the time the cave was in use. Field Museum scientists recently scanned this important skeleton—the only complete Magdalenian skeleton in North America—to learn more about her age, health, and appearance.
A reconstruction of “Magdalenian Woman’s” face by artist Elisabeth Daynès is also on display within the exhibition, along with several rare Paleolithic artifacts from the Museum’s collections.
© The Field Museum