Hello! It's been some time since I've posted. It's been a crazy year all over the world, and I have been writing, teaching, and creating--but not here. However, I'm back.
Here's what's been happening:
I squat in total darkness, my right hand holding fast to cold metal railing. Suddenly, the guide’s flashlight spotlights a horse’s head, sketched in black thousands of years ago, yet still distinct. My heart swells and my eyes fill. I can’t understand very many words of the Spanish guide. So I just let the feeling of connection and reverence wash over me. I soak up the detail in the features of the horse and its bushy mane. The spotlight moves to the right and captures a full horse, purple, outlined in black, with another horse of the same type directly to its right. Below them, in a wall of red ochre, are other animals—horses, reindeer, and smaller deer. I am looking at original art, history preserved and remembered. I sense a link pulling me toward the past, thousands of years ago.
This experience in Tito Bustillo Cave changed me forever. I felt many of the same feelings as Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Deschamps, and Christian Hillaire when they saw the first paintings in Chauvet Cave in 1994.
Suddenly, as Eliette’s gaze swept the wall, she gave a cry: in the beam of her lamp she had just made out two lines of red ochre, a few centimetres long. We joined her with beating hearts. On turning round, we immediately spotted the drawing of a little red mammoth on a rocky spur hanging down from the ceiling. We were overwhelmed. Henceforth our view of the cave would never be the same. Prehistoric people had been here before us. (Chauvet, Deschamps, and Hillaire, Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave)
Even if you don’t have ancient paintings or petroglyphs close to you, it’s possible to recreate some of those feelings with a physical or virtual field trip. Then apply what you have seen, felt, or learned with other media and applicational activities to round out your experience.
If you are just beginning your study with History as the Hook, you might begin with cave art. It is one of the first evidences we have of human creative and communal life. I’d like to walk you through the creation of a Personal/Family Study Plan, using my visit to Tito Bustillo Cave as the Core Source. You may choose to use a cave near you, a virtual tour of a famous cave, or a book with loads of pictures and information. Let’s begin!
Bonjour! I'm Bonnie. I love learning, travel, reading, writing, photography, and all things French. I am especially passionate about agency education, the humanities, and using history as the hook for all learning!
©History is the Hook, 2021