A favorable climate offered Atlanteans the opportunity to live without an intense daily struggle for food and shelter and some were able to focus on aesthetic occupations like art and music. Since the ocean was about 350 feet lower than to day it was possible to walk across some parts of the English Chanel to southwestern Europe. The skills of some of the Atlantean artists of 10,000 to 30,000 years ago are visible today on the walls, ceilings and floors of caves in nearby France and Spain. There is no evidence of the development of painting in western Europe and archeologists are not aware of a civilization in that area advanced enough to have made them.
Hunting scenes, lists of group activities, and detailed records of the seasons line cave walls near the entrances but the finest works are in deep, remote, almost unreachable caverns, where painters struggled under the stress of inadequate ventilation and poor lighting from wavering oil lamps. Rather than paint with vegetable dyes, the rigorously trained artists produced permanent mineral pigments, which sometimes required heating the ingredients to extremely high temperatures. They added preservatives to the pigments, binders made from animal fat, and adherents from saliva to ensure the paintings would stay on the damp cave walls. Many of the beautiful paintings date to 30,000 to 33,000 years ago but they cannot survive the effect of changes in ventilation etc. which occur if they are made available to many people.
For more information about the artists’ work in the Tito Bustillo cave, the Altamura cave and others see p.77 and 78 of Atlantis: Insights From a Lost Civilization. The documentary “Cave of 1000 Dreams” offers an excellent description of the relatively newly discovered Chauvet cave in southern France.