Report on the Live Tour of Prehistory: Exploring the Lascaux Cave of Southwest France

Reported by Scott Mauldin

The DKU Community was invited on Friday, April 7th, to a live tour via Zoom of the Lascaux Cave complex, one of the world’s most famous and significant sites of prehistoric cave paintings. For nearly two hours, Lascaux guide Olivier and Lascaux IV technical coordinator Laurent Puichaud demonstrated the wealth of paintings, carvings, and other archeological traces from the cave system, located in Southwest France, which was inhabited and decorated more than 17,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. The more than 600 paintings and 6000 figures in the cave depict many of the animals that the artists shared the area with, including images that resemble extinct species (aurochs), species no longer found in the area (Przewalski’s horses), or even mythical animals (unicorn). Significantly, the cave also depicts geometric and abstract shapes, giving insights into the development of human art and psychology, and possibly spirituality. The guide answered many questions from the more than 50 students, faculty, and staff in attendance.

The event was organized by Emmanuelle Chiocca, Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and International Education in the Language and Culture Center, and was originally planned only for the students of her French 102 course. However, after high excitement and interest, the event was opened to the entire DKU Community. The event was sponsored by the Third Space Lab, Humanities Research Center, Language and Culture Center, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies, which helped to cover the fees for the tour as well as refreshments for attendees of the on-campus viewing.

If you are interested in watching the recording of the live tour, please email Dr. Emmanuelle Chiocca at or join the Third Space Lab Sakai site with your Duke Net ID.