Robot: Discovers Lascaux Cave Paintings

Robot became famous in history for discovering one of the greatest collections of prehistoric artwork.

In September 1940, four teenage boys (Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel and Simon Coencas) and Ravidat's dog Robot set out on an adventure in the Dordogne region of southwestern France to search for treasure. According to an old legend, the treasure was hidden in an underground passage deep in the woods of Montignac.

As they walked through the dense brush, Robot found a small hole next to an uprooted tree. The boys enlarged the hole and slid into a dark chamber beneath the ground. Their hopes of finding treasure happened. The treasure was a collection of ancient artwork dating back to at least 17,000 years ago. Marsal would later say that they could see a "cavalcade of animals larger than life painted on the walls and ceiling of the cave - each animal seemed to be moving."

Lascaux cave, 1940

Some 600 paintings and nearly 1,500 engravings decorate the interior walls of Lascaux cave. The displays depict many animals, some abstract symbols and one human (painted representations of humans are rare in Paleolithic art). The cave was opened to the public in 1948, causing the artwork to deteriorate. In 1963, to protect the artwork from further deterioration, the cave closed to the public. In 1983, a replica cave, known as Lascaux II, opened to allow tourists to have some experience of the original.