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Return to Chauvet Cave: Excavating the Birthplace of Art - The First Full Report Hardcover – March, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Clottes is the leader of the Chauvet Cave research team and an internationally recognized specialist on cave paintings and Palaeolithic art. For many years he has worked for the National Heritage Office of the French Ministry of Culture, and now acts as a consultant for UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). His many books include The Cave Beaneath the Sea: Paleolithic Images at Cosquer (with Jean Courtin) and The Shamans of Prehistory: Trance and Magic in the Painted Caves (with David Lewis-Williams).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500511195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500511190
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1 x 13.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,799,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 80 people found the following review helpful By R. W. on January 19, 2005
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This book is simply magnificent. But first, a word about the price. The British publisher, Thames and Hudson, prices this book at 45 pounds. At this time, 1 pound = $1.8 US. I encourage you to compute the currency exchange and then shop . . . .

Now for the book. Since it's currently impossible to "look inside this book," let me share a few things about this splendid volume.

* It's 13 inches high by 11 inches wide, so it's an over-sized volume.

* 209 illustrations, 208 of which are in color

* the photos are extraordinary in clarity, lighting etc

* some of the photos span 2 pages, some take up 20-25% of a page, and there are 2 foldouts that show the breadth of a panel

* the paper is very high quality

* on average, the text takes up only part of a page. Some pages are strictly photos, sometimes a page has a column of text with photos. A few pages are entirely text. Bottom line, this is primarily a photo book, which is exactly what I was hoping it would be.

* the text is written for the general public. It's mostly descriptive, though there are some passages where interpretations are offered.

* most of the photos I've seen of the Chauvet paintings in other works are close-ups of the paintings. There are close-ups in this book too, but many of them show more of the physical backdrop for the paintings. It makes the paintings even more powerful to see them in their full "architectural" setting

* there are a few photos of the cave formations themselves, which is wonderful since the cave itself is a work of art.

The Table of Contents:

1. How to Study the Cave?

2. The Cave in its Setting

Read more ›
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By William G. Chappell on January 2, 2005
Extremely well written account of the ongoing excavation of Chauvet Cave. The detail in the authors descriptions of the many artifacts found and the maticulous fragility used in processing, dating, and cataloging. This book goes way beyond cave art. From the animals and humans that had contact with the cave to the environment, geology, and paleo-botony. These are some of the oldest art ever dated and while reading their accounts the reader is transported back into time witnessing specific events that occured more than 32,000 years ago during the IceAge.

I highly recommend this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William Mixon on June 14, 2009
Any significant new discovery of paleolithic cave art can be counted on to produce coffee-table books, both in French and in English translation. This one is preceded by at least "Chauvet Cave: The Discovery of the World's Oldest Paintings," by Jean-Marie Chauvet, et al. The English translations usually have separate publishers in the UK and the US, with different titles, which can be confusing and lead to inadvertent duplicate purchases. The book reviewed here is the same book as the University of Utah Press's "Chauvet Cave: The Art of Earliest Times," which is a more accurate reflection of the original French title.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lynnie on May 14, 2007
I spent two weeks visiting many of the caves in the Perigord and Dordougne area of France. I was amazed at the quality of the work. I am an artist, and I paint horses, and these artists knew their bison, their horses, and other animals. I love having this book and others with big colored illustrations of the work because it helps me remember the experience of 1989, seeing them in person.
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