Chauvet cave dating

Slowly but surely, the mysterious and haunting Chauvet cave is giving up its secrets.The cave, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site two years ago, was discovered in the south of France in 1994.

Consisting of one great chamber and two passageways, it is located near Sarlat on a hillside in Montignac, in the Dordogne region of southwest France.Inside the Chauvet grotto, they found a 400-metre long network of galleries and rooms, covered in rock art and petroglyphs, whose floor was littered with a variety of paleontological remains, including the skulls of bears and two wolves.Some of these bones had been arranged in special position by the previous human inhabitants.Amazingly, Chauvet's entire labyrinth of prehistoric art had been left undisturbed since a landslide sealed off the entrance about 25,000 years ago.Chauvet is one of the few prehistoric painted caves to be found preserved and intact, right down to the footprints of animals and humans.Now, scientists have assembled more than 250 radiocarbon dates made from rock art samples, animal bones and the remains of charcoal used by humans scattered on the ground to create the most accurate timeline yet of who used the cave and when.

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