What does Brian Fagan suggest was the reason the early inhabitants of France and Spain chose to paint their remarkable scenes in deep and fairly inaccessible caves?
Fagan makes it clear that the fact these scenes are so often painted in these caves is no accident. But he also argues that they were probably not painted on cave walls out of a desire to keep them shielded from the elements (and thus make them more permanent.) Rather, he argues that the painters chose these locations in an effort to "feel the power of the earth." The paintings were infused with sacred qualities, Fagan argues, and the darkness and isolation of the caves would intensified these qualities, creating, as it were, an atmosphere of sanctity and a religious aura. That people understood them as important religious icons is underscored by the fact that people returned to view them over and over again over a long period of time.