Stepping-Stones A Journey through the Ice Age Caves of the Dordogne Christine Desdemaines-Hugon, Ian Tattersall

Publication date:
11 Sep 2012
Yale University Press
272 pages: 235 x 156mm
38 b-w + 8 color illus.
Sales territories:


An awe-inspiring study of the enduring power of Paleolithic art

The cave art of France’s Dordogne region is world-famous for the mythology and beauty of its remarkable drawings and paintings. These ancient images of lively bison, horses, and mammoths, as well as symbols of all kinds, are fascinating touchstones in the development of human culture, demonstrating how far humankind has come and reminding us of the ties that bind us across the ages.

Over more than twenty-five years of teaching and research, Christine Desdemaines-Hugon has become an unrivaled expert in the cave art and artists of the Dordogne region. In her new book she combines her expertise in both art and archaeology to convey an intimate understanding of the “cave experience.” Her keen insights communicate not only the incomparable artistic value of these works but also the near-spiritual impact of viewing them for oneself.

Focusing on five fascinating sites, including the famed Font de Gaume and others that still remain open to the public, Stepping-Stones reveals striking similarities between art forms of the Paleolithic and works of modern artists and gives us a unique pathway toward understanding the culture of the Dordogne Paleolithic peoples and how it still touches our lives today.

Christine Desdemaines-Hugon is an eminent scholar of prehistoric anthropology and cave art of the Dordogne region of France. She lives in Campagne, France.

"Desdemaines-Hugon takes readers on a fascinating journey through the ice caves of the Dordogne. . . . Her vivid descriptions help readers visualize the Cro-­Magnon man or woman painting the beautiful bison, horses, mammoths, and other symbols. [A] fine reading experience."—Library Journal

“Dedemaines-Hugon speaks with enthusiasm and a love for the culture and its artwork.”—Brian Skinner, Yale University

“Dedemaines-Hugon speaks with enthusiasm and a love for the culture and its artwork.”—Brian Skinner, Yale University