Cave Art

Chauvet wiki

Also see Don’s Maps

Positive hand prints, formed by coating the hand with pigment and pressing the hand on the wall. The second hand print may have been done at the same time, without recoating of the hand, as it is fainter.
In the frame also are a semicircle of dots, and felines, on the “Panel of Hand Prints”, in the Red Panels Gallery.
The individual with the crooked little finger (see the section on the Brunel Chamber) did the hand print near the arc of red dots.
Photo: Clottes (2003)
Negative hand print, formed by blowing pigment from the mouth over the hand.
Photo: Jaubert (2008)
Photo: © Stéphane Compoint,
The clear imprint of the left foot of a child, and a dynamic trace of it, has been found in the Galerie des Croisillons, or Gallery of Crosshatchings. They form the start of a track leading to the end of the gallery where it opens into the Skull Chamber. The track is of the central section, with the two extremities missing because of the nature of the calcite floor. Further, there are bear prints and the track of a wolf, which also left prints in the Hillaire Chamber.
Photo: Garcia (1999b)
The Child’s Track
The track is in one direction, Each pace is clearly individual, suggesting a calm and careful continuous progress. The pressure points are firmly placed giving for the most part a complete view of the prints. They therefore enable reliable measures, which confirm their repetitivity with several examples of right and left feet. The middle part of the track could not be examined as it is too far removed from the walkway. However, we can confirm that the tracks belong to one individual The imprints at the start and end of the track are completely superimposable.
The feet have an arch and a morphology comparable to those of present day Europeans and we have compared their measurements to the series obtained from Europeans from the nineteen sixties. This method might be considered a little arbitrary but it is the basis that was devised by Dr Léon Pales and that he always applied himself. In addition, if one refers to the stature of Cromagnon man, whose skeletal remains are known, one notes that it is close to modern stature.
child’s foot
The Chauvet imprints correspond to those of an approximately eight year old child, possibly 130 cm tall. The relationship between the length 214 mm and width 92 mm suggests probably a male. It can certainly be said that the Chauvet imprints are comparable to those which we know from Magdalenian decorated caves, and in those caves from more recent prehistoric times.
An date was obtained from a torch mark 26 000 ± 4OO BP. We have been able to note this year that other torch marks stain the lower ceiling of the gallery. Most of them coincide with the child’s track. It is therefore not too daring to consider them as contemporaneous.
It is still too early to produce a hypothesis explaining the presence of a child in this sector. What we can say is that from what we know elsewhere the tracks of children have more chance to come down to us, very simply because youths take atypical paths where their traces have less chance of being obliterated by multiple p
ext below from: Garcia (2005)
The most striking result of the study of imprints encountered on the floor of the cave was undoubtedly the authentication of human footprints in la galerie des Croisillons.
There were twenty imprints of human feet at the beginning and end of a track about seventy metres long, leading from the galerie des Croisillons to the Skull Chamber, with a hardened section of the floor in the middle where no imprints have been found. However a large part of this possible track is unknowable because of its distance from the path which has been protected by alloy walkways.
The footprints are absolutely congruent, and are the marks left by a single individual. In the far end of the track in the galerie des Croisillons, the permanent activity of water percolation causes intense stalagmitic deposition, which prohibits any relevant comments about the track, and at the end of the track in the Skull Chamber, the footprints stop at the steep edge of the slope surrounding the clay in the centre of the Skull Chamber.
One has the impression that the teenager was suddenly faced with an obstacle, perhaps the Skull chamber was filled with water. For the moment, it is impossible to access the area to the right, where the footprints may be, and the footprints are not detectable using binoculars.
child’s footchild’s foot
Mould of the imprint of a left foot from the Gallery of Crosshatching, la galerie des Croisillons.
The image on the right has been reversed, that is, it shows you what the foot would look like if you were beneath it, looking up from beneath the floor.
Photo: Garcia (2005)

Size Shape Position an Character

This is a female wooly rhinoceros. They have longer and thinner horns than the males.
The painting is on a wall between the Sector of Horses and the entrance to the Megaloceros Gallery.
Photo: Inocybe
Permission: Public Domain

Here is the ‘insect’ sign in context. Note the recurrence of the butterfly or bird shape to its left. Both images are framed by calcite rods.
Photo: Chauvet, Deschamps et Hillaire (1996)

Another version of the ‘butterfly’ above. Note the two cross shapes below it and to the left. The images are on a massive pendant, suspended above the floor from the roof of the cave, without any other pendants nearby.
Donna Cannon writes:
I think your ‘butterfly’ is a kite (a carrion bird) as seen from directly below it as it hovers, with another bird floating much ‘higher’ to its left.
Photo: Chauvet, Deschamps et Hillaire (1996)
This is a very useful image of the Sorcerer Pendant, since it shows the lion and the mammoth on the pendant which are ordinarily hidden, as well as the lions on the wall behind, with the large aurochs of the End Chamber just visible to the right of the lions.
This is a conical pendant from the roof of the cave, and consists of a bison and an exaggerated depiction of a pubic triangle and a vulva, with rudimentary legs ending in points rather than feet. The rock pendant is seen by some as penis like. It is also the only representation of a human in the cave, apart from some depictions of pubic triangles and vulvas.
The whole ensemble is sometimes known as the sorcerer. Although not visible here, the bison is reported to include a human hand on its lower body.
The level of CO2 is toxic in this area, in which the group of lions is also situated. The CO2 comes from the roots of plants growing down from outside, and scientists can not spend much time here because of the levels of CO2.
The narrow alloy path stops here, and it is not possible to go further, since there are too many fragile things on the ground, including tracks by bears and humans. Though not visible from the path, it has been discovered that there is a musk ox on the other side of the pendant using other equipment, a camera on a long pole.
From the Bulletin (an Australian weekly magazine) May 25 1999 Insert from Newsweek. pp100-102
By Sharon Begley
Standing before the hanging rock deep inside the damp cave, archeologist Yanik Le Guillou had a brainstorm: he would mount the digital camera on a 10-foot-long pole, manoeuvre it around and past the rock, turn the whole contraption just so, and … snap! capture on film whatever was hidden on the wall behind. On the first try, the scientists cut off the head of what looked like a painting of a bison. On the second try they cut off its feet. Finally they captured the whole animal-it was now looking more like a musk ox or a rhinoceros without horns -and the next day bagged even bigger quarry: painted next to the beast were a lion and a mammoth, powerful animals that are almost as rare in Palaeolithic cave art as they are on the streets of Paris.
There are only two or three boxes of artefacts left by humans, such as pieces of flint, that have bee摐
This rhinoceros is depicted with a black band around its body at the abdomen. It was drawn after obliterating another one whose horn and ears can still be discerned.
Some breeds of cattle are banded, in particular the Lakenvelder belted cattle of the Netherlands, with a white band on a generally dark body.
Two small rhinos, a horse and a megaloceros (also known as the Irish Elk, which died out around 7 700 years ago) with the characteristic hump, but no antlers, which have been shed. The hump contains muscles and ligaments to support the head and large antlers.
Note the black shading on the neck between the head and the hump of the megaloceros.
The Belted Galloway (left) is a heritage beef breed of cattle originating from Galloway in the west side of southern Scotland, adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region. The exact origin of the breed is unclear although it is often surmised that the white belt that distinguishes these cattle from the native black Galloway cattle may be as a result of cross breeding with Dutch Lakenvelder belted cattle (right).
Photo (left): Amanda Slater from Coventry, England
Permission: licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
Photo (right): Lex vB
Permission: Public Domain
Text: Wikipedia
Another view of the panel of art in the End Chamber.
Photo: Stephen Alvarez © National Geographic
The End Chamber is possibly the most impressive of all, notable especially for the cave lions and rhinos.
This is one of the most well known images from Chauvet Cave. It is known as the Panel of the Big Lions, and is remarkable for the superb draughtsmanship and artistry of the depiction of the cave lions. The lions appear to be stretching out, hunting the bison on the left of the panel. This is a masterpiece.
A rhinoceros, apparently bleeding after being hunted, to the left of the conical pendant, and above a painting of two cave lions.



GIPRI Colombia/YouTube
Tens of thousands of pristine cave paintings were recently found daubed across an eight-mile stretch of rock in a once-in-a-century discovery in Colombia’s Amazon rainforest.
Believed to be 12,500 years old, the art is extremely detailed, and includes handprints and depictions of Ice Age megafauna like the mastodon, a relative of the mammoth, Ice Age horses, and giant ground sloths.
The discovery, made in Chiribiquete National Park in the south of Colombia,