Animation in the Art of the Stone Age in France

Animation in the Art of the Stone Age in France

About 30,000 years ago, ancient Europeans used animation techniques to give observers the impression that lions and other wild beasts were charging through the cave wallstwo French researchers have claimed.

Ancient artists created graphic stories in caves and illusions of moving animals on spinning discs of bonesays archaeologist Marc Azéma of the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail in France and Florent Rivère, a freelance artist in Foix, France.

Stone Age artists wanted to bring their images to life”Says Azéma. "Most cave drawings show animals in action”.

The torches passing through the painted scenes could have increased the feeling of viewing live scenes, action stories, suggest researchers in the June Antiquity.

Azéma and Rivère summarize their 20 years of research on stone age animation, many of them previously published in French, in a new document. They also describe for the first time animation examples of two French caves, Chauvet and La Baume Latrone.

Movement and action are actually represented in rock art in different ways”Remarks archaeologist Jean Clottes, a cave art specialist who now serves as an honorary general curator of heritage for the French Ministry of Culture. Clottes led an investigation in 1998 on the 30,000-year-old Chauvet cave paintings.

A chauvet painting 10 meters long represents a hunting story, proposes Azéma. The story begins showing many lions, with their ears back and their heads down stalking prey. Mammoths and other animals appear nearby. In a second section of the painting, a pride of 16 lions, some drawn smaller than the rest to make it appear that they are further away, lunges towards the fleeing bison.

The stone age artists they pretended give the animals movement in these scenes, says Azéma. A Eight-legged bison in Chauvet, for example, is the result of trying to superimpose two images of the creature in different positions to try to create the appearance that it is running.

In France, 53 figures in 12 caves overlap two or more images to represent races, nods or tail movements. In the famous Lascaux cave, 20 painted animals show multiple heads, legs or tails.

A carving in an animal bone of another stone age cave in France it shows three images of a running lion, another mode of representation of movement.

The ancient Europeans too they invented a kind of animation toy, the researchers suggest. Places in France and Spain have brought to light stone and bone discs, usually with central holes, showing opposite images of sitting and standing animals.

In experiments carried out since 2007, Rivère has reproduced these etched discs and tendon filaments linked through the central foramen. By rotating these filaments, the discs rotate back and forth fast enough to make make it appear that animals sit and stand up.

This is the principle behind a thaumatrope, an invented device (or maybe reinvented) in 1825. Two chains attached to the ends of a disk or card with an image on each side (for example, a vase in front of a bouquet of flowers) were rotated between the fingers, so that the images rotating seemed to combine into one, like flowers in a vase. The thaumatrope It is considered the forerunner of motion and animation cameras.

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.


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