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This Happened

This Happened — September 12: The Lascaux Cave Paintings Are Discovered

The Lascaux cave paintings were accidentally discovered by four teenagers on this day in 1940. Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas stumbled upon the entrance to the cave while searching for their dog. They later informed local authorities, leading to the exploration and subsequent recognition of the site's historical and artistic significance.

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Where are the Lascaux cave paintings located?

The Lascaux cave paintings are located in the Lascaux Caves in southwestern France, near the village of Montignac. The caves are renowned for their prehistoric paintings and are often referred to as the "Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art."

When were the Lascaux cave paintings created?

The paintings in the Lascaux Caves were created during the Upper Paleolithic period, approximately 15,000 to 17,000 years ago. They are believed to have been painted by early modern humans, also known as Cro-Magnons.

What subjects are depicted in the Lascaux cave paintings?

The cave paintings depict a variety of subjects, including animals such as horses, aurochs (wild cattle), deer, and other creatures. These animals are often depicted in motion and in vivid detail, showcasing the artistic skill and observational abilities of the prehistoric artists. Some theories suggest that they may have had ritual or ceremonial significance, possibly related to hunting practices or spiritual beliefs. Others propose that the paintings could have been a form of storytelling, communication, or artistic expression.

Are the Lascaux cave paintings accessible to the public?

The original Lascaux Caves were open to the public for several decades, but concerns about deterioration and damage due to increased tourism led to their closure in 1963. To preserve the delicate paintings, a replica cave called "Lascaux II" was created nearby and opened to visitors in 1983. Visitors can explore the replica cave to experience the beauty and significance of the Lascaux cave paintings.

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The Underbelly Of The Meditation Boom

For years, mindfulness has been promoted as a near panacea. But just how much does the brain affect the body?

The Underbelly Of The Meditation Boom

The science isn't so clear on meditation.

Caren Chesler

In 2019, Debra Halsch was diagnosed with smoldering multiple myeloma, a rare blood and bone marrow disorder that can develop into a type of blood cancer. Her doctors recommended chemotherapy, she said, but she feared the taxing side effects the drugs might wreak on her body. Instead, the life coach from Piermont, New York tried meditation.

A friend had told Halsch, now 57, about Joe Dispenza, who holds week-long meditation retreats that regularly attract thousands of people and carry a $2,299 price tag. Halsch signed up for one in Cancun, Mexico and soon became a devotee. She now meditates for at least two hours a day and says her health has improved as a result.

Dispenza, a chiropractor who has written various self-help books, has said he believes the mind can heal the body. After all, he says he healed himself back in 1986, when a truck hit him while he was bicycling, breaking six vertebrae. Instead of surgery, Dispenza says he spent hours each day recreating his spine in his mind, visualizing it healthy and healed. After 11 weeks, the story goes, he was back on his feet.

Halsch said she believes she can do the same for her illness. “If our thoughts and emotions can make our bodies sick, they can make us well, too,” she said.

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