Virtual Realities Then and Now:
The Caves of Lascaux
Hidden away in the caves of Lascaux in southwest France is a 17,000 year-old painting on a stone wall, which may be one of humanity’s earliest narrative compositions. Almost cartoonlike in appearance, it shows a man with the face (or mask) of a bird, engaged in an apparently fatal disagreement with a wounded bison. As the bison uses its head and horns as a weapon, the man falls stiffly back, apparently to his death. Nearby, in the same painting, are a number of other images, including a pattern of dots, a rhinoceros, and a stick with what appears to be a bird on top, all of which add to the sense that there is more to the story than we can discern, today.