The Altamira cave is 270 metres (890 feet) long. In the vestibule numerous archaeological remains belonging to the Aurignacian (Perigordian), upper Solutrean, and lower or middle Magdalenian periods were found, including ceremonial staves and engraved animal shoulder blades. The great lateral chamber that contains most of the paintings measures 18 metres by 9 metres, the height of the vault varying from 1.15 metres to 2.65 metres. The roof of the chamber is covered with paintings, chiefly of bison, executed in a magnificent, vivid polychrome of red, black, and violet tones. There are also two wild boars, some horses, a hind, and some other figures in a simpler style; in addition, there are eight engraved anthropomorphic figures, various handprints, and hand outlines. The other galleries contain numerous black-painted or engraved figures. In many cases, the creator of the designs exploited the natural contours of the rock surface.
Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/altamira-caves.html
Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:24:31 EDT