Earliest cave paintings confirmed…

Horses from the Chauvet Cave (Note: This image is in the US Public Domain, as noted on Wikipedia)

Every now and again I like to look for the latest discoveries about prehistoric art. As it turns out, an article was published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science confirming a previously-contested fact: the lovely renderings of animals in the Chauvet Cave in France were indeed painted 30,000 years ago.

The article has carefully traced the patterns of collapse of the cliff overhanging the cave, over time, proving that access to the area with these cave paintings was blocked off at a certain point that is consistent with the radiocarbon dating that establishes these paintings as the earliest cave art currently known to exist.

The artist who painted the horses represented here captures beautifully the grace of the herd. Click on the image to learn more about the cave art on Wikipedia – but for the latest discovery and some interesting graphic depictions of the caves, visit the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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