Cool opening lines for dating

The radiocarbon dates from these samples suggest that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet: 35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago.A research article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May 2012 by scientists from the University of Savoy, Aix-Marseille University and the Centre National de Prehistoire confirmed that the paintings were created by people in the Aurignacian era, between 30,000 and 32,000 years ago.Abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave.There are also two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them.It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River, in the Gorges de l'Ardèche.Discovered on December 18, 1994, it is considered one of the most significant prehistoric art sites and the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO granted it World Heritage status on June 22, 2014.

The gorges of the Ardèche region are the site of numerous caves, many of them having some geological or archaeological importance.The researchers’ findings are based on the analysis using geomorphological and dating of the rock slide surfaces around what is believed to be the cave’s only entrance.Their analysis showed that the entrance was sealed by a collapsing cliff some 29,000 years ago.Their findings put the date of human presence in the cave and the paintings in line with that deduced from radiocarbon dating, i.e., between 32,000–30,000 years BP.A 2016 study in the same journal examining 259 radiocarbon dates, some unpublished before, concluded that there were two phases of human occupation, one running from 37,000 to 33,500 years ago and the second from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago.Above the Venus, and in contact with it, is a bison head, which has led some to describe the composite drawing as a Minotaur.There are a few panels of red ochre hand prints and hand stencils made by blowing pigment over hands pressed against the cave surface.The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 32,000–30,000 years BP.A study published in 2016 using additional 88 radiocarbon dates showed two periods of habitation, one 37,000 to 33,500 years ago and the second from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago with most of the black drawings dating to the earlier period.The later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25,000 to 27,000 years ago, left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths, and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves.The footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately.

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