ID card of the cave : where and what?

The original Chauvet Cave

The painted 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 since june 2014. It is extremely unique, because it has all three of these very rare characteristics:

  • Both integrity and authenticity
  • The datations of the rock art drawings (36000 y. old Before Present)
  • Around 1000 rock art drawings (which 435 animal representations)

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 200 m.This makes the paintings the first artwork masterpiece known to this day.

The Chauvet cave was discovered in the middle of the cliff that overlooks the plain so-called Combe d’Arc, which was formerly a meander of the Ardèche River