Were Paleolithic Cave Paintings The First Films?

These blurred lines in France’s Chauvet Cave may not be mistakes or overlapped drawings due to a lack of space. These animals are actually sequential pieces that show one animals in different positions. A horse’s head may be drawn three times, moving toward the ground, or another’s legs move in a running motion. While just looking at the drawings may not make sense, these drawings make sense when viewed in the flickering light of a fire that was used when they were drawn, creating an illusion similar to the toy below that might be familiar to you.

Archaeologist Marc Azéma created a video that scanned and animated the cave drawings, showing just how they were probably seen and possibly used for storytelling purposes:




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