By Tara Patel. And prehistoric rock art is no different if the protracted scientific and legal wrangling over the Chauvet cave in southern France is anything to go by. Many of the graceful paintings and etchings are thought to have been the work of a single talented artist who had mastered sophisticated techniques of perspective and contrast. Detailed study of the cave has yet to begin but it has already become the object of a bitter dispute between two leading French specialists in prehistory. Even when their dispute is resolved, however, it is unlikely that researchers can start work until a series of court battles over ownership of the site are decided.
From cave art to climate chaos: How a new carbon dating timeline is changing our view of history
Reinterpreting The Chauvet Cave Paintings | JSTOR Daily
Another member of this group, Michel Chabaud, along with two others, travelled further into the cave and discovered the Gallery of the Lions, the End Chamber. Chauvet has his own detailed account of the discovery. Further study by French archaeologist Jean Clottes has revealed much about the site. The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 32,—30, years ago. A study published in using additional 88 radiocarbon dates showed two periods of habitation, one 37, to 33, years ago and the second from 31, to 28, years ago, with most of the black drawings dating to the earlier period. Based on radiocarbon dating , the cave appears to have been used by humans during two distinct periods: the Aurignacian and the Gravettian.
A bison painted on the walls of the Chauvet cave in southern France. New research creates the best timeline yet of who frequented the caves and when. Before the three amateur spelunkers found the cave in December that year, scientists believed, no human had stepped foot inside for more than 27, years. Now, scientists have assembled more than 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. 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.
Reimer, Tim Heaton, The Conversation. Geological and archeological records offer important insights into what seems to be an increasingly uncertain future. The better we understand what conditions Earth has already experienced, the better we can predict and potentially prevent future threats.