In the Cave

Peter Campbell

An unknown number of years ago a rockfall closed the entrance to a cave in the limestone gorge of the Ardèche river in France. In 1994 three speleologists found air wafting from an opening, cleared a way in and discovered caves and grottos running 400 metres or so into the rock. The walls are lined with drawings of animal species – bison, lions, bears, horses, aurochs, deer and rhinoceroses. Some show whole animals, standing or in motion, others overlapping rows of horses’ heads, delicately outlined and smudged. Rows of lions’ heads cross the wall like a hunting pride. What is right is so right that you nearly believe a rhinoceros with a huge curving horn really existed too.

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