Cave Art by Paul Bahn

Cave Art by Paul Bahn* is, as the subtitle says: A Guide to the Decorated Ice Age Caves of Europe. I marked it as a travel guide because it offers a lot of details on where the caves are, when one can visit, prices, tours, and so on. Also, after reading this book I challenge anybody not to dream of a holiday in Spain or France visiting these amazing sites.

The book was surprising from the first page to the last and it’s so incredibly fascinating that I imagine most people would enjoy it. I had no idea that there are so many caves and their location gives us some clues on what the people were doing between 30,000 to 10,000 years ago. Most of these decorated caves are in nearby locations, although the locations are close to our modern day standards, but for our ancestors, these distances would have been much harder to cover. It’s tantalizing to think that they might have travelled so far or that others have made similar artwork, in pretty much the same period.

Cave Art by Paul Bahn

The details mentioned in the book are astonishing. There are caves with hundreds of piece of artwork. Other caves were painted at different times, thousands of years apart. Isn’t it amazing that these people, who lived 15,000 years ago cherished the paintings made by people who lived up to 15,000 years before them? That’s incredible. Also, the more recent history of the caves is fascinating too.

This guide covers more than 50 caves in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as well as relevant museums and centres. So it is a must if you fancy visiting a cave or two in a holiday. I would suggest buying the book and reading it just to find out more about the caves, the artists who painted them, and the desire for cave visiting in our free time will surely come after that.

Cave Art by Paul Bahn

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes!!!
Published by: Frances Lincoln
Year it was published: 2018
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Travel
Pages: 224

About the author: Dr. Paul G. Bahn is a British leading archaeological writer, translator, and broadcaster in the field of archaeology.
Other books by him: Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction; 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries; Lost Cities/50 Discoveries In World Archaeology; The Bluffer’s Guide to Archaeology: Bluff Your Way in Archaeology.
Website & Social Media Links: Quarto

*I was sent a copy of Cave Art by Paul Bahn for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.



6 thoughts on “Cave Art by Paul Bahn”

  • Hi Anca,

    I always look forward to visiting your site, as you feature some excellent books in the category I would mark as ‘coffee table’ reading – books to be enjoyed a chapter or two at a time and which work well when read in that way!

    I am always fascinated not only by cave paintings, but also by cave houses. We saw some brilliant ones in Switzerland and Malta, which are still lived in today.

    Just a couple of weeks back, we were watching a National Trust programme on the TV, which filmed inside some of their properties during lockdown. They actually have a number of cave house at Stourbridge, which were lived in right up until the 1950s. You can normally visit them, but obviously not now with Covid rules! I really want to go as son as we are able.

    Thanks for another interesting feature 🙂

    Yvonne xx

    • I visited the rock houses near Birmingham a few years ago and saw them again at that show you mentioned. It was such an unusual experience. I’ve been interested in visiting caves since I saw the biggest one in Romania, in a school trip when I was a child.

  • You make this sound so interesting! France is always the place that comes to my mind when I think of cave paintings, so I’d be interested in learning about some of the other locations. Perhaps you’ll visit some of those in the UK and share your experience with us.

    I recently downloaded a novel set in these early years and now I’m anxious to read it!
    Kelly recently posted…Fall 2020My Profile

    • There is only one in UK and I would love to visit it. It’s a bit far from us, at 2h+ drive (one way), so I don’t think I will be able to visit it soon. I ask thinking when I read this book and I have no idea if there are novels set 20,000 years ago. 🙂

      • The novel I have waiting in my kindle is Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray. I question the timeframe it’s set in (maybe too far back), but it still appealed to me. There’s also the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel, which I’ve never read. They’re very popular.
        Kelly recently posted…Fall 2020My Profile

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