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September 15 2013

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… A new age in the science of prehistory had begun in 1949, when radiocarbon dating was invented by Willard Libby, a chemist from Chicago. One of Libby’s first experiments was on a piece of charcoal from Lascaux. Breuil had, incorrectly, it turns out, classified the cave as Perigordian. (It is Magdalenian.) He had also made the Darwinian assumption that the most ancient art was the most primitive, and Leroi-Gourhan worked on the same premise. In that respect, Chauvet was a bombshell. It is Aurignacian, and its earliest paintings are at least thirty-two thousand years old, yet they are just as sophisticated as much later compositions. What emerged with that revelation was an image of Paleolithic artists transmitting their techniques from generation to generation for twenty-five millennia with almost no innovation or revolt. A profound conservatism in art, Curtis notes, is one of the hallmarks of a “classical civilization.” For the conventions of cave painting to have endured four times as long as recorded history, the culture it served, he concludes, must have been “deeply satisfying”—and stable to a degree it is hard for modern humans to imagine. …

(via Letter from Southern France: First Impressions : The New Yorker)

Reposted bysashthesplashnerdanelgingergluesergelanmiunbill
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Palaeolithic cave paintings dated between 30,000 & 33,000 years ago.

(via The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

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The Red hand stencil and partial outline of a black mammoth, found in the Red Panels Gallery, are located more specifically on the Panel of Hand Stencils. The hand stencil has been placed inside the outline of the animal, on its flank.Researchers have been able to determine that the mammoth was drawn before the hand….

(via Red Hand & Mammoth - The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

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These four horses occupy a small recess in the Chauvet Cave. They bare [sic] similar artistic attributes. The artist used fingers to mix and spread a charcoal paste and applied it in order to emphasize the main outlines and give relief and shading to the heads….

(via Facing Horses - The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)

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This is considered one of the most important panels of the Chauvet Cave. It contains twenty animals. The drama is clear to see, highlighted by the rhinoceroses confronting each other. This is unique in Palaeolithic cave art. The two rhinos were drawn at the same time, probably by the same artist. The charcoal used has been dated between approximately 30,000 and 32,000 years before present.

The four horses heads were drawn in charcoal after the rhinos as well as the other animals - two more rhinos, a stag and two mammoths - on this panel, which as elsewhere in the cave had been prepared and scraped. Of the four horses, the top one was drawn first and the lowest one drawn last….

(via Fighting Rhino & Four Horses - The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave)


June 19 2013

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These are masterpieces that we will never see with our own eyes — paintings, engravings, and hand stencils dating from 27 000 years ago when a sparse population occupied the cold and barren Mediterranean seaside. These works of art are so fragile and precious that the underwater passage leading to them has been sealed off by the authorities.

Only a few people have actually seen the marvels of the Cosquer Cave: the professional diver from Cassis who discovered it in 1985 and gave it his name, and a handful of divers-archaeologists who were commissioned to perform a thorough survey once the discovery was officially declared to the authorities in 1991.

27 000 years ago, when the Cosquer artists were at work on the walls of the cave, sea level was about a hundred meters lower than it is today. The coastline was located 10 kilometres further to the south and the landscape was reminiscent of present-day Norway. Men were few; but antelopes, giant stags, horses, small penguins called auks, bison and aurochs abounded.

Today, the entrance to the Grotte Cosquer is 37 metres below sea level in one of the Calanques, the small Mediterranean fjords that dent the coastline between Marseille and Cassis. …


Reposted bysiriusminervavertheerKaerrielzEveRatrantareloveutionpsyentist
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The Caves of Gargas in the Pyrennes region of France are known for their cave art from the Upper Paleolithic period - about 27,000 years old.

Reposted bysiriusminervawonderlustqueenpsyentist
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Stencil of a human hand, dated 27,000 B.P. [Before Present] from Cosquer Cave. as shown in the National Museum of Archeology, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France.

via wikipedja

Reposted bypsyentist psyentist
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The Panel of Hands, El Castillo Cave, Spain. A hand stencil has been dated to earlier than 37,300 years ago and a red disk to earlier than 40,600 years ago, making them the oldest cave paintings in Europe. [Image courtesy of Pedro Saura]

via Were the Neanderthals Cave Painters? - Popular Archaeology
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Prehistoric cave painting at the Petta-kere cave in the Leang-leang Prehistoric Park (Maros regency in South Sulawesi, Indonesia). These hand stencils belong to the Mesolithic Toalean (Tolian) culture (6000 BCE to 500 CE).

Cave painting at Petta-kere, South Sulawesi | Flickr (by Sanjay P. K.)

Reposted bypsyentist psyentist
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Prehistoric hand stencil rock art from Gilf Kebir, in the desert of southwest Egypt

via Colloquium Notes: The Signs of Which Times? | The Archaeology of Egypt’s Deserts

Reposted bypsyentistAncientEgyptian
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