The 1940's
Lascaux Cave Drawings

Lascaux Cave Drawings
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.77

     challenging words:    auroch, ochre, viewer, original, dioxide, carbon, writing, series, concrete, adventurous, running, public, roots, works, mankind, history
     content words:    World War II, Lascaux II

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Lascaux Cave Drawings
By Jane Runyon

1     It was a crisp autumn day in September of 1940. Four teenage boys and a pet dog were exploring the hills and woods near the village of Montignac in France. They ran through the tall grass. They climbed mounds of dirt to play "King of the Mountain." When they found a large, old tree which had fallen from age and a push from the wind, they decided to explore. As they climbed among the pulled up roots, they found that the tree had left a huge hole in the earth. Being adventurous, they decided to see how far into the ground the hole went. What they found was an archaeologist's dream come true.
2     Under the fallen tree was a series of caves. What was in these caves astounded the world. On the walls were pictures of animals. The pictures were actually quite realistic. There were deer and horses. They were running and swimming across rivers. When scientists studied the drawings, they found that they were very old. How old is very old? Well, these paintings were probably done between 13,000 and 15,000 B.C. Some scientists believe they could be from as far back as 25,000 B.C.
3     Fossils from animals such as an auroch had been found in the area before. The Lascaux cave drawings supported the idea that very early men had hunted these animals thousands of years ago. Some of the paintings were as far off the ground as ten feet. This told scientists that the artist had to make some sort of scaffold for him to be able to create the drawings. They were not just "doodles" on the wall. They were planned drawings which described hunting situations to the viewer.

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