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Chauvet Explained

from artnet news

Scientists Unlock the Mystery of Chauvet Caves Paintings in France

by Henri Neuendorf

The abstract red daubs were previously thought to be abstract paintings. Photo: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty ImagesThe abstract red daubs were previously thought to be abstract paintings. Photo: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Following a new discovery, the abstract details in France’s Chauvet Caves paintings, created by early humans 36,000 years ago, are thought to depict a volcanic eruption, scientists say.

Although the paintings were discovered back in 1994, a recent geological survey conducted in the Bas-Vivarais region in France, where the cave is located, has led to a new interpretation of the paintings.

Scientists discovered that a volcanic eruption took place in Bas-Vivarais at around the same time as the paintings were created between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago.

The findings give new significance to the abstract daubs of red and white pigment which were found next to figurative depictions of lions, woolly mammoths, and other animals, and provide new insights into the level of understanding that early humans had of their surroundings.

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Posted on January 16, 2016 by Editor

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