The Shaft


In contrast to the preceding sectors – the Apse, the Passageway and the Hall of the Bulls – the Shaft contains only a limited number of figures: eight in all. Four are figures of animals (a horse, a bison, a bird and a rhinoceros) and three others are geometric shapes (dots and hooks). In the centre of the composition, the eye is drawn to a human figure.
One notes on the right-hand wall a horse, and the left-hand wall contains all the other figures in a space about three metres square. This arrangement, made famous by its narrative potential, is one of the rare examples in which the subjects and themes refer to a specific episode, leaving us to imagine the possibility that this is a message to be interpreted. Hence the name that has been given to this panel: the "Shaft Scene".

© Ministère de la Culture/Centre National de la Préhistoire/Norbert Aujoulat

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