Chauvet cave dating

15 Jan

Jean Clottes, scientific advisor to the Ministry of Culture and specialist in prehistoric cave paintings, was quickly called to authenticate the discovery.He immediately recognized that the cave and its paintings were not only genuine but almost perfectly preserved due to the rock slide that had sealed the entrance thousands of years ago.Scientific investigation of the cave was carried out under careful conditions to preserve the cave and its contents.A museum has been constructed at Vallon Pont d'Arc that provides visitors with an experience of the prehistoric environment, flora and fauna, and lifestyle of the painters as well as reproductions and movies about the paintings and other findings in the cave.After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that the cave was untouched until discovered in 1994.The walls of the Chauvet cave contain hundreds of animal paintings and engravings.

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The artists who produced these unique paintings used techniques not often observed in other cave art.

Fossilized bones are abundant and include the skulls of cave bears and the horned skull of an ibex.

Although the dating has been disputed, it has been generally accepted that artwork dates from both the earlier Aurignacian era (30,000 to 32,000 years ago) and the later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25,000 to 27,000 years ago.

This discovery was made on December 18, 1994 by three amateur speleologists—Jean-Marie Chauvet for whom the cave is named, Eliette Brunel, and Christian Hillaire.

A current of air from a small cave attracted their attention and they descended into a large chamber which led to further chambers.