Chauvet Cave

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Definition

The Chauvet Cave (also known as the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave) is a Palaeolithic cave situated near Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in the Ardèche region of southern France that houses impeccably preserved, exquisite examples of prehistoric art. Now reliably dated to between c. 33,000 and c. 30,000 years ago, the numerous and diverse animals that dot the interior walls of the cave – both painted and engraved – show such high artistic quality that they were initially thought to have been closer in age to the similarly stunning, but much younger art in caves such as the Lascaux Cave. Its age and artistry have made us reconsider the story of art as well as the capabilities of these humans. The cave has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

More about: Chauvet Cave

Timeline

  • c. 2600000 BCE - c. 12000 BCE
    The Pleistocene epoch, ranging from c. 2,6 million years ago until c. 12,000 years ago. It is characterised by repeated cycles of glacials and interglacials.
  • c. 2600000 BCE - c. 12000 BCE
    The Palaeolithic (or Old Stone Age) period, ranging from c. 2,6 million years ago until c. 12,000 years ago.
  • c. 40000 BCE - c. 28000 BCE
    Aurignacian culture of Homo sapiens in Europe.
  • c. 37500 BCE - c. 33500 BCE
    First period of human occupation of Chauvet Cave.
  • c. 33000 BCE - c. 30000 BCE
    Age of the cave paintings in Chauvet Cave, France.
  • c. 32000 BCE - c. 27000 BCE
    Second human occupation of Chauvet Cave.
  • c. 17000 BCE - 15000 BCE
    Lascaux cave paintings.
  • 18 Dec 1994 CE
    Chauvet Cave is discovered by Jean-Marie Chauvet, √Čliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire.
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