Grotte Chauvet-point d’arc is Chauvet Cave located in SE France with cave drawings more than 30,000 years ago.

Its soft clay-like floor retains the paw prints of cave bears along with large, rounded depressions that are believed to be the “nests” where the Europen cave bears slept. In Grotte Chauvet-point d’arc, fossilized bones are abundant, and include the skulls of cave bears, and the horned skull of an ibex.

Located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. On a limestone cliff, above the former bed of the river Ardèche, in the Gorges de l’Ardèche, is Chauvet cave. It is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche river before the Pont d’Arc opened up. The gorges of the Ardèche region and the site are numerous. There are many caves, much of them having some geological or archaeological importance.

This cave is amongst the best preserved caves in the world. Chauvet cave remained untouched for possibly thousands of years before it was discovered in 1994. Evidence suggests that it was due to a landslide which covered its historical entrance. Left with the cave bear foot prints were little child’s footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths, and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves.

Like many European caves, dates have been a matter of dispute. A study published in 2012 supports placing the art approximately 32,000–30,000 years ago. A newer study published in 2016, using additional 88 radiocarbon dates ,showed two periods of habitation, one 37,000- 33,500; and, the other from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago. Most of the black drawings were from even earlier periods.

Artistic ‘shamanal’ components?
Some say a magical ‘venus’ figure composed of what appears to be a vulva attached to an incomplete pair of legs is seen in the cave. Above the Venus, and in contact with it, is a bisons head. Most had led to describe the composite drawing as a Minotaur (half bull), or Centaur (half horse), or ??.
The cave even has panels of red ochre hand stencils. From blowing the crushed up pigments of ochre over hands pressed against the caves surface. And, abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave. There are also two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them. This and/or the combination of subjects (including other caves in the area) lead many to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic, or magical aspect to these paintings, and lives of humans, tens of thousands of years ago.

Lots of drawings:
The artists who produced these paintings used techniques rarely found in other cave art. Many of the paintings appear to have been made only after the walls were scraped clear of debris and concretions, leaving a smoother and noticeably lighter area upon which the artists worked.
Popular paintings include what is suggested as being a dog, however these have been challenged as being a wolf.
Hundreds of animal paintings have been catalogued, depicting at least 13 different species.
Rather than depicting only the familiar herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, aurochs, mammoths, etc., the walls of the Chauvet Cave feature many predatory animals, e.g., cave lions, leopards, bears, and cave hyenas. There is also paintings of whoolly rhinoceroses. Which had not been found in North America.
One drawing, later overlaid with a sketch of a deer, is reminiscent of a volcano spewing lava, similar to the regional volcanoes that were active at the time. If confirmed, this would represent the earliest known drawing of a volcanic eruption.

Login/create account today