The Lascaux cave complex was discovered in 1940 by teenagers Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencasin, and eight years later, it was opened to the public.
By 1955, much of the cave's parietal art was beginning to deteriorate due to the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled by the 1200 daily visitors, and other environmental problems. As a result, in 1963 the site was closed to the public.
Its most famous chambers include the "Hall of the Bulls", the "Axial Gallery", the "Apse" and the "Shaft".
In total, Lascaux's galleries and passageways - extending about 240 metres in length - contain some 2,000 images, about 900 of which are animals, and the remainder geometric symbols of varying shapes.
Today, only a tiny handful of people (mostly scientists) are permitted inside Lascaux for a few days each year in order to help prevent the magnificent paintings, drawings and engravings from joining their creators, and vanishing entirely.
Some would say that she had a successful amateur career.At the same time, prehistoric art took a massive leap forward, as exemplified by the cave painting of western Europe, that reached its apogee on the walls and ceilings of Lascaux Cave (France) and Altamira Cave (Spain), both of which contain some of the greatest examples of Franco-Cantabrian cave art, from the Solutrean-Magdalenian era, dating to between 17,000 and 15,000 BCE.(See also the magnificent bison paintings at Font de Gaume Cave in the Perigord.)Discovered in 1940, close to the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, Lascaux is especially famous for its painting, which includes a rare example of a human figure; the largest single image ever found in a prehistoric cave (the Great Black Bull); and a quantity of mysterious abstract signs, which have yet to be deciphered.Chronological questions about the age of Lascaux's cave paintings, over what period they were created, and the identity of the oldest art in the complex, are still being debated.The Paleolithic scholar Andre Leroi-Gourhan believes that Lascaux was decorated between the end of Solutrean art and the beginning of Magdalenian art (c.15,000-13,000 BCE).