ID card of the cave : where and what?

The Cave of Pont d’Arc (known as Grotte Chauvet)

The painted Caverne du Pont-d’Arc (known as Chauvet Cave), in southern Ardèche (Southern France), was discovered on the 18th of December, 1994, by Jean-Marie Chauvet, Éliette Brunel, and Christian Hillaire, during a private caving expedition. This prehistoric cave is a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate. It is extremely unique, because it has all three of these very rare characteristics:

  • old
  • well preserved
  • very rich

This is the most extensive and well preserved piece of heritage from the Aurignacian Era. It is radiocarbon dated to 32,000 BP, or to about 36,000 years ago after re-evaluation. Its freshness is striking. The freshness of the thousand paintings in this cave in the Ardèche cover 8,500 m² over more than 400 m.This makes the paintings the largest piece of artwork known to this day.

The painted Caverne du Pont-d’Arc, known as Chauvet Cave, was discovered in the middle of the cliff that overlooks Estre Combe, which was formerly a meander of the Ardèche River