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It is now established that the cave interior closest to the entrance - including the Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery - would have been bright enough to work by for about one hour, for several days each year.

Chronological questions about the age of Lascaux's cave paintings, over what period they were created, and the identity of the oldest art in the complex, are still being debated.

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(Note: For a comparison with Gravettian imagery, see Cosquer Cave cave paintings.)The entrance leads directly into the main chamber called the Hall of the Bulls.

This leads to the slightly smaller Axial Gallery (or Painted Gallery) (a dead end), or the Passageway, both of which are heavily decorated with various types of art, including paintings and engravings.

Specific characteristics of the style include bison horns shown in front-view; front horns of bovines depicted by a simple curve while the rear horn is more sinuous; deer antlers depicted in a specific perspective, and so on.

Other experts, however, as well as a radiocarbon test result of 17,000 BCE, obtained in 1998 from a fragment of a spearhead found in the Apse, places the art at the junction between the Solutrean era and the pre-Magdalenian Badegoulian era.

In other words, the cave painting at Lascaux is most likely to date back to about 15,000-17,000 BCE, with the earliest art being created no later than 17,000 BCE.

Furthermore, the unity of style found in the drawings and engravings at Lascaux, indicates that most were created during a relatively short period of time, perhaps less than two millennia.

In 1979, Lascaux was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, together with another 147 prehistoric sites and 25 decorated caves located in the Vezere Valley of the Correze and Dordogne regions.

In 1963, due to continuing environmental problems inside the cave, Lascaux was closed to the public.

One task that has been successful is the restoration of the original entrance to allow sunlight to enter the cave.


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