How many people, let alone homeschool kids, get to visit both Altamira and Lascaux prehistoric caves to have a deeper understanding of art and prehistoric man? We placed them close together on our summer tour with ultra modern Guggenheim in Balboa in between! Mozart proudly has a pin for each (as that seems to be the small souvenir collection quest this year). The stupendous cave art is a stunning sight for adults and children, that is simply unforgettable.
"...we are confronted with nothing less than the birth of art.....From this instant, the history of civilization began...". Jose Camon Aznar
"Nothing you may read or hear about the caves of Altamira quite prepares you for the sensitive artistry, the sophistication, the elegance, the spirituality of the cave paintings of Altamira, executed some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago and considered the most important in the world from the prehistoric Magdalenian period." Penelope Casas
For many years, it was easy to see both Altamira and Lascaux, but then it was discovered that the carbon monoxide damage from visitors could destroy the paintings. Thus, sadly, we did not get to see the originals, but both have great museums that have good copies and information that are well worth seeing. Mozart probably did not notice the difference and perhaps it was even better for her visit because of the educational additions, but we adults wish we could have seen the original.
Museo De Altamira did a good job of recreating the cave, although we must admit that we all preferred the Lecaux tour, as the French just seemed to have a superior way with creating good museums and tours in our experience. Nevertheless, we all learned a lot. I like the way they added the archeological aspects and Mozart loved the holographic cave people and how she got to do some chipping away at the rocks to get an idea about how hard that was. Just seeing the drawings shatters anyone's idea about prehistoric man, which my photos explain better than my words.
They also had some good books. "Kushuk in Altamira" is a popular Spanish one and Mozart also enjoyed one called "Noune, Child of Prehistory" by Michel Vaidisthat that taught about prehistoric times through a young boys story. Boy of the Painted Cave and Dar and the Spear Thrower are good historical fiction chapter books from this time period, although I wish they had more stories with pre historic girl heroes. This is a good bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction and we liked these fun sites for kids about prehistoric art.
This was a homeschool field trip, well worth taking!