Chauvet cave dating
Cave Paintings are paintings on cave walls and ceilings, usually dating to prehistoric times.
The earliest known European cave paintings date to 32,000 years ago.
AFPTV provides a rare filmed glimpse inside the cave, which is closed to the public.
(AFP) The Chauvet Cave, a vast Paleolithic cave dating back more than 36,000 years ago, was selected on Sunday as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This means that these images were created roughly 29-30,000 BCE, making them the third oldest figurative cave paintings in the world, after the Sulawesi animal pictures in Indonesia and the more primitive Fumane cave paintings (c.35,000 BCE) in Italy.
Helene Valladas of the Laboratory for Climate and Environment Studies at France's CEA-CNRS research centre at Gif-sur-Yvette performed the analysis on the paintings concluding that the drawings were between 29,700 and 32,400 years old.
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(AFP) The new work, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that humans frequented the cave during two distinct periods that were separated by several thousands of years.
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As a result it ranks alongside Lascaux (c.17,000 BCE), Altamira (c.15,000 BCE), Pech-Merle (c.25,000 BCE) and Cosquer (c.25,000 BCE) as one of the most significant sites of Stone Age painting.
Moreover, its earliest rock art (charcoal drawings of two rhinos and one bison) have been dated to between 30,340 and 32,410 BP (before present).