Cave – Nature and Culture

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       August 27, 2015


Author  Ralph Crane and Lisa Fletcher

ISBN:                 9781780234311
Publisher:         Popular Science
Release Date:    


Caves, yes those subterranean creations have in turn fascinated, awed and terrified ever since man discovered them by either falling into one or actively choosing to slide through a small opening in the earth to see what was at the end.

In Cave – Nature and Culture, Crane and Fetcher have blended together fact and culture to create a wonderfully enjoyable look at some of nature’s many intriguing creations, that of Caves.

Coupled with spectacular photographs there is a wealth of information to enjoy about one of nature’s most fascinating and addictive creations, that of Caves, that will keep you returning to the book and then venturing out to take a look at these wondrous creations.

Caves have also been treated with respect by authors such as Daniel Defoe, when he created Crusoe’s Cave in Robinson Crusoe , John Steinbeck in the Grapes of Wrath and Shakespeare even referred to the caves of France as ‘womby vaultages’, but whenever manner you choose to embrace a cave, if you choose to do so, it would have to be with respect for the fascination that lives not all that far below our earth.

That they have remained to a large degree a supreme challenge, not just to the people who explore them, but to the scientific world, is that within an accessible distance these caves are a treasure trove of how this earth has developed for millions of years.

They have produced, in so many instances, the skeletal remains of long extinct species both animal and human; the geological and geographical formations are nothing other than spectacular and the intriguing evidence of just how many times this world has restructured due to one or another cataclysmic events is there to be discovered and documented. That they are beautiful goes without saying.

Caves have provided a variety of uses to nomadic peoples the world over, once again for millions of years, particularly those that open outwards to the day, as they have provided shelter and homes for travellers. In turn the travellers have adorned the caves with their art, leaving behind a history of the peoples who moved across the land.

The Indigenous peoples of Australia have left behind some of the most stunning and fascinating series of cave painting, telling much on the history of their people and as is suggested, leaving behind information of what was in the area for those following. There is evidence that there were also maps of the land and other information required to be passed on also involved in the paintings.

Some caves are revered such as those of St Ninian’s Cave in Scotland and there are many others scattered throughout Europe that have provided shelter and a safe haven from those persecute for their faith or beliefs.

In short, Caves still do remain as fascinating and evocative as they always have and will continue to weave their irresistible magic time and time again as the lure to discover what is just around the corner proves, in yet another century, too good to ignore.