chauvet cave

from cave paintings posted in history


chauvet cave
réserve naturelle des gorges de l'ardèche‎
saint-remèze, france 07700

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posted by tacopolis #

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Located near the natural Pont d'Arc land bridge is the Chauvet Cave, a cave that contains some of the oldest existing examples of prehistoric paintings.

The cave was discovered in 1994 by a team of speleologists: Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet (for whom the cave is named). Hundreds of paintings exist in the cave, and at least 13 distinct depictions of prehistoric animal species have been catalogued.

Chauvet Cave is incredibly unique for many reasons. Not only it's age (presently thought to be 32,000-30,000 years old) but also the level of pristine condition of the artifacts in the cave. There are footprints from humans tens of thousands of years ago, and impressions from cave bears sleeping in the cave.

In addition, the artists who created the cave paintings had a unique level of mastery to their craft. Cave walls were cleared and etched, then charcoal used to create figures (with detail, shading and representation of movement) that seem to leap from the walls.

photo: Thomas T.