More photographs of sites and Palaeolithic Venus figures are always welcome!
If you would like a particular archaeological site to be covered here, if you have questions or comments, or if you have any photographs or information which would be useful for Don's Maps please contact Don Hitchcock at firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not keep back any higher resolution photos from my website. To obtain the highest resolution I have, you need to click the small image (thumbnail) on the web page, when the full, higher resolution image will appear on your screen, from which you can copy or download it. Thus, each small image is a link to the highest resolution of that image that I have available, and anyone can access it just by clicking on the thumbnail.
Use of images
Anyone (e.g. students, teachers, lecturers, writers of scientific papers, libraries, writers of books, film/video makers, the general public) may use and reproduce, crop and alter the maps which I have drawn and photographs which I have made of objects and scenes at no charge, and without asking permission. If you decide to use one or more of my images, I would be grateful (though it is not necessary) if you would include a credit such as 'Photo: Don Hitchcock, donsmaps.com' or similar, at the place you normally put your credits, and with your normal formatting and wording. Obviously this does not apply for any copies I have made of existing photographs, artwork and diagrams from other people, in which case copyright remains with the original photographer or artist. Nor does it apply where there is some other weird copyright law which overrides my permission.
Note, however, that the Ägyptischen Museum München and the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel permit photography of its exhibits for private, educational, scientific, non-commercial purposes. If you intend to use any photos from these sources for any commercial use, please contact the relevant museum and ask for permission.
Use of images on Wikipedia and Wikimedia
Contributors and editors of Wikipedia and Wikimedia may publish on the Wikipedia and Wikimedia sites the maps which I have drawn and photographs which I have made of objects and scenes at no charge, and without asking permission, using the Creative Commons - Attribution 4.0 International - CC BY 4.0 license. Obviously this does not apply for any copies I have made of existing photographs, artwork and diagrams from other people, in which case copyright remains with the original photographer or artist. Nor does it apply where there is some other weird copyright law which overrides my permission.
Some people have expressed interest in knowing a little bit about me. For those people, here is a potted biography:
I live in Australia, and I am a semi-retired high school mathematics/science teacher.
The Donsmaps site is totally independent of any other influence. I work on it for my own pleasure, and finance it myself. I started before there was an internet, when I thought I could do a better job of the small map on the end papers of Jean Auel's wonderful book, Valley of the Horses, by adding detail and contour lines, and making a larger version. I have always loved maps since I was a young boy.
I had just bought a black and white 'fat Mac' with a whopping 512 kB of memory (!), and no hard disk. With a program called 'Super Paint' and a lot of double work (hand tracing first the maps of Europe from atlases, then scanning the images on the tracing paper, then merging the scanned images together, then tracing these digital scans on the computer screen), I made my own black and white map.
Then the internet came along, the terms of my internet access gave me space for a small website, and Don's Maps started. I got much better computers and software over the years, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for example, and my maps became colourised and had more detail. I did a lot of maps of the travels of Ayla from Jean Auel's books, and I gradually included other pages with more and more photos available from the web, and scanned from books or from scientific papers, since I was not happy with the quality generally available. I became very interested in the Venus figurines, and set out to make a complete record of the ice age ones. Along the way I got interested in archaeology for its own sake.
In 2008 my wife and I went to Europe, and when we arrived in Frankfurt at sunrise after the 24 hour plane trip from Sydney, while my wife left on her own tour with her sister, they visited relatives in Germany and Austria, I went off by myself on the train to Paris. Later that afternoon I took a train to Brive-la-Gaillarde, found a hotel and caught up on lost sleep. The next morning I hired a car, and over the next four weeks visited and photographed many of the original archaeological sites in the south of France, as well as many archaeological museums. It was a wonderful experience.
My wife and I met up again later in the Black Forest, and cycled down the Danube from its source to Budapest, camping most of the way, a wonderful trip, collecting many photos, including a visit to Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic, as well as visiting the Vienna natural history museum. Jean Auel fans will realise the significance of that trip!
Luckily I speak French, the trips to France would have been difficult or impossible otherwise. No one outside large cities speaks English (or they refuse to). I was travelling independently, not as part of a tour group. I never knew where I was going to be the next night, and I camped nearly everywhere, except for large cities. I am a very experienced bushwalker (hiker) and have the required equipment - ultra lightweight tent, sleeping bag, stove, raincoat, and so on, all of which I make myself for use here when I go bushwalking, though for Europe I use commercial two person lightweight tents, since weight is not so much of a problem when cycling or using a car.
In 2012 we went to Canada for a wedding and to visit old friends, and I took the opportunity to visit the wonderful Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, where I took many photographs of the items on exhibit, particularly of the superb display of artefacts of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest.
In 2014 my wife and I did another European cycling tour, from Amsterdam to Copenhagen, then from Cologne up the Rhine to the Black Forest, camping most of the way in each case, and taking many useful photos in museums along the way, including the museums at Leiden, Netherlands, and Roskilde in Denmark, and the National Museum in Copenhagen. Again, I later hired a car and did more photography and visited many more sites in France.
In 2015 I made a lone visit to all the major museums in western Europe by public transport, mostly by train, and that went very well. I had learned a lot of German while travelling with my wife, who is a fluent speaker of the language, and of all the European countries, Germany is my favourite. I feel comfortable there. I love the people, the food, and the beer. Germans are gemütlich, I have many friends there now.
I repeated the visit to western Europe in 2018, to fill in some gaps of museums I had not visited the first time, because they were either closed for renovation the first time (such as the Musée de l'Homme in Paris) or because I ran out of time, or because I wanted to fill in some gaps from major museums such as the British Museum, the Berlin Museum, München, the Louvre, the Petrie and Natural History Museums in London, the Vienna Natural History Museum, the important museum in Brno, and museums in northern Germany. It takes at least two visits, preferably three, to thoroughly explore the items on display in a major museum.
I spend a lot of time on the site, typically at least a few hours a day, often more. I do a lot of translation of original papers not available in English, a time consuming but I believe a valuable task. People and fate have been very generous to me, and it is good to give back a very small part of what I have been given. With the help of online translation apps and use of online dictionaries there are few languages I cannot translate, though I find Czech a challenge!
I will never be able to put up all the photos I have taken, each photo needs a lot of research, typically, to put it in context on the site. I do not have enough time left, life is short and death is long, but I am going to give it a good shot!
Life has been kind to me, I want for nothing, and am in good health. Not many in the world are as lucky as I am, and I am grateful for my good fortune.
My best wishes to all who read and enjoy the pages of my site.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
And may rain on a tin roof lull you to sleep at night.