Images of the Ice Age

Images of the Ice Age, Paul Bahn, OUP, £30 ISBN: 978-0-19-968600-1

WITH the new Lascaux 4 replica cave opening later this year, this lavishly illustrated book could hardly have been better timed for anyone who is interested in the art of our Ice Age ancestors.

With 350 colour illustrations this is a visual feast that makes a credible effort to lift itself off the coffee table and into your hands for a trip back in time to our earliest recorded memories of life on Earth.

France and Spain are particularly rich in cave art with more than 170 separate sites listed for France and 200 for Spain and while the book looks at the worldwide spread of prehistoric art it concentrates on Franco-Cantabrian sites from their discovery to the most modern interpretations of their meanings.

Many of the works will never be seen by the public, so this gives both a glimpse of what we are missing and an insight into the lives of those who created them.

Happily, while remaining essentially an academic work it is also immensely readable for the most part but obviously tends towards intensity.

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