Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche/France
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member KaPsTeam
N 44° 24.368 E 004° 25.874
31T E 613962 N 4917978
Quick Description: The Chauvet Cave is located near the small town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in the valley of the river Ardèche.
Location: Occitanie, France
Date Posted: 8/7/2015 10:47:12 PM
Waymark Code: WMPC7Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tervas
Views: 3

Long Description:
--> The photographs were taken by us from the replica of the cave (outdoor). From cave inside any images may not be made. The original cave is not open to the public! The replica can be visited, but it must be reserved in advance tickets. Link: (visit link) (visit link) <--

Pictures of the inside of the cave: (visit link)

Coordinates of the original cave: 44.38812°, 4.41614° But please take pictures of the replica. The original cave can´t be visited.

The cave discovered in 1994 is of great scientific interest. So far, more than 400 murals with more than 470 painted and engraved animal and symbolic representations were recorded. The oldest of them were dated to 35,000 to 32,000 years "before present" (BP) by means of radiocarbon (C14 method) and would thus belong to the archaeological culture-epoch of the Aurignacian.

In 2012 for the first time informed critic of radiocarbon dates of the murals was expressed because their calibration was unreliable and therefore failed a few thousand years old. A physically plausible revision dated the murals in the Gravettian period to around 30000-22000 BC data on charcoal from the floor of the cave sprinkle up to an age of about 25,000 BP...

The cave was discovered on 18 December 1994 by Jean-Marie Chauvet speleologists, Eliette Brunel Deschamps and Christian Hillaire. It is not open to the public, since a change in the humidity to fungal infection and thereby to endangering the paintings could result. This experience was made in the mid-1960s in the Lascaux caves and the late 1970s in the cave of Altamira, whose entrances have since also strictly regulated. Even the authorized researchers may work only at intervals a few hours there, namely in the spring for four weeks, and in the fall for two weeks.

Overlooking the decorative paintings of the Chauvet cave, this applied until 2012 - according to the majority opinion of experts - as the oldest known cave paintings in the world; now those of the Spanish Cave of El Castillo are considered even older.

A modern forgery of age determination in itself is excluded due to the sintering of color jobs. Fraud allegations can therefore be regarded as unreasonable. This also proves the unchanged since the last inspection in Gravettien surface of the cave floor.

Chronology Critics point out that radiocarbon dating of charcoal used to paint not automatically dates the images and the charcoal may be far older theory, that represent only the terminus post quem for the paintings. Therefore charcoals could already come from cave fires in the Aurignacian, but have been used only in the Gravettian use to paint. [

However, because of the Living floors (the same state of the cave floor since the last inspection in the Gravettian) is considered safe, that there may have been no later then performed painting of the walls.

The cave is of unprecedented proportions in the Ardèche. Today's access is initially a very narrow horizontal tunnel at the end there is a vertical descent of about ten meters. The actual cave can be easily committed largely in a length of over 500 meters. The cave floor drops from front to back only about 24 meters from. The horizontal extension covers an area of ??approximately 240 x 100 meters, it comprises four large halls 12-17 meters in height, the largest hall measures nearly 40 × 60 meters. The currently mapped total area of ??the cave covers approximately 8140 square meters.

Remarkable are the unique beauty and harmony of the paintings in the Chauvet cave. Amazing are the routine use of the available stains (first charcoal, as well as red and lighter ocher), the stylistic devices used (up to the representation of motion), and the composition of partially expanded image walls. Again and again the relief of the rock face was used to present pictures effectively. The colors used were manufactured locally made charcoal, natural ocher and clay, etc..

In June 2014, the Chauvet cave was included in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Type: Natural

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