Cave Art Just Got Older

The cave art in Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, France just got older . Accordingly to latest research and the newest carbon dating it appears that the drawings are 10 000 years older than previously thought .


cave art


Accordingly to the previous researches made the wall art has been considered to be created around 25 000 -27 000 B.C.


A long term study by an international researchers team, however suggests that the wall paintings are approximately 10 000 year older than previously considered . The team has published their paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy Science where they’ve described their studies . By analyzing the data collected the researchers were able to create a time-line . This time-line proved the cave has been inhabited several times by early humans . The fist inhabitants of the cave had lived there around 37 000 years ago . Then for couple of thousands of years the cave was a home to bears . Then again around 31 000 years ago cavern has been inhabited by humans .


The study took 15 years . During the process the researchers had used carbon dating on over 250 object found in the cave . They've examined objects like materials used for drawing and bones from different animals .


Thanks to the research the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc now can be crowned as the holder of the oldest known cave art in the world .


visionary cave art


The cave itself contains hundreds of animal paintings on over 13 species both herbivores  and predators . Some of the images are showing strange human-animal hybrids . Accordingly to some theories these painting represents a visionary art . It is likely these cave paintings are drawn by shamans expressing their visions . Some suggest these visionary paintings are the evidences of usage of mind altering herbs . The similarity between the images in Chauvet-Pont d’Arc and the images found in dozens of other caves around the world suggests the same source of inspiration . The strange thing about it is that these drawings are distant both in the time and space . No one knows for sure the exact answer of that conundrum . The theory of usage of consciousness altering herbs and plants  , and the involvement of shamanism however seems pretty likely .


Related Literature

Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave

by Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire 


Cave Art

by Jean Clottes


The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art

by David Lewis-Williams