Is the Ancient Cave Art Older Than We Thought?
Europe’s oldest cave art and its age has been a topic of a hot debate for years together. Some experts claim that these exquisite images of horses, bulls, and cave lions that were found in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc in the south eastern part of France are somewhere around 20,000 years old, or was it painted millennia earlier?
Some of the carbon bearing pigments have been scraped off of the cave walls support the possibility of it being the older than the earlier ascertained date and putting the possible age of the paintings to be somewhere around 36,600 years.
On further research and examination when carbon dating was carried out for the charcoal bits that were dug up from the floor in the caves it was suggested that the cave was either occupied or visited at the least by human beings as early as 37,000 years ago. These studies and online reports have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This new study has reported adjusted dates for radiocarbon analyses by looking at more than two hundred and fifty samples of carbon matter like animal bones, charcoal, and even soot smudges which were presumably left on the walls of the caves by torches of those times.
On further and detailed research and studies it was reported by the scientists that the caves were occupied by human beings in two different time periods, the first one was between 37,000 years ago to about 33,500 years ago and the second period lasted from about 31,000 years ago to about 28,000 years ago. The end of each of these periods coincided with a massive rock fall in the caves. The most recent one of these rock falls ended up partially blocking the entrance to the caves. Later on, two more comparatively smaller rock falls in the time period of 23,000 to 21,500 years ago ended up sealing the entrance completely. It was this occurrence that probably was the reason why the cave’s art survived almost unsullied until recently when three spelunkers stumbled accidentally into the trove in the year 1994.