Ever since they were discovered over a hundred years ago, the paintings and rock engravings deep in the caves of Europe have captured the public imagination, provoking wonder and amazement at their great age, their technical mastery and their sheer b
eauty. Some of the oldest art known to man turns out to be highly accomplished, and also to have been made in extremely difficult conditions in absurdly inaccessible locations. These facts have presented a puzzle and a challenge that have never cease
d to exercise the imagination of both scholars and the wider public. This interest is kept alive by the beauty, vivacity and realism of these mammoths, bison, horses and other animals, which have the same power and freshness to modern eyes that they
must have had for their creators. Jean Clottes' book is the first one to provide a simple, accessible, orderly and easy to use pictorial introduction to this remarkable art. A concise introduction tells the story of the discovery of the caves, and giv
es a clear outline of current knowledge and research. It also discusses the modern debates about the meaning and purpose of the art, and sets these debates in the wider context of prehistory.