Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by TermsFeed
 
Bradshaw Foundation Latest News
Bradshaw Foundation Latest News
Bradshaw Foundation Latest News
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Volcanic eruption depicted in Chauvet
Tuesday 12 January 2016

An online article by John Lichfield in the Independent - Chauvet cave paintings: A volcanic eruption from 36,000 years ago, as captured by prehistoric man - reports that scientists believe that they have identified the oldest known images of erupting volcanoes, daubed in red and white pigments over other cave paintings in south-eastern France around 36,000 years ago.

Chauvet cave art may depict volcanic eruption

The large panel of hand dots under investigation, known as the Sacred Heart Panel and located near the natural entrance.

The puzzling and apparently abstract images were first found in 1994 among startlingly precise paintings of lions, mammoths and other animals at a complex of caverns at Chauvet in the Ardeche.

A team of French scientists, ranging from geologists to palaeontologists, now believe that the surging, fountain-like images are the only example in Europe of prehistoric paintings of landscapes or natural phenomena. The oldest images of volcanoes previously identified were drawn 8,000 years ago at Catalhoyuk in central Turkey.

The findings of the French team - published at the weekend on the scientific website PLoS One - could transform conceptions about prehistoric art. The cave paintings at Chauvet are already among the oldest, most beautiful and most elaborate in the world.

Like all other known cave art in Europe, they depict animals and - in the case of Chauvet - human hands. If the volcano thesis is accepted, historians may have to revise their theories about the meaning and purpose of cave paintings.

The claims are based on a new geological survey which dates volcanic eruptions in the nearby Bas-Vivarais area to between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago - coinciding with the period when Chauvet was occupied by humans. Carbon-dating of drawings both beneath and above the separate crimson and white 'volcano' images suggests that they were drawn during this time.

The team, led by Jean-Michel Geneste, head of archaeological research at Chauvet, wrote: "It is very likely that humans living in the Ardeche river area witnessed one or several eruptions. We propose that the spray-shape signs found in the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc cave could be the oldest known depiction of a volcanic eruption."

The nearest Vivarais volcano was 22 miles north-west of the Chauvet caves. Although volcanic eruptions take various forms, the Vivarais explosions are believed to have resembled a giant fireworks display - much as depicted in the paintings.

When the Chauvet complex was discovered in 1994, paleontologists were puzzled by the seemingly abstract images among detailed and anatomically accurate pictures of lions, mammoths , rhinoceros and deer.

"Their irruption in the caves seemed unusual and anachronistic because they were not figurative," Mr Geneste said.

He and his team now believe that the Chauvet artists were doing what they usually did - creating art from the most extreme and dangerous manifestations of the natural world around them.

Visit the Art of the Chauvet Cave section:

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/chauvet/index.php

Comment
Rock Art
Marra Wonga rock art site
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 28 June 2022
New look at ancient Arnhem bark paintings
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 09 June 2022
Art by Firelight?
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 21 April 2022
Cave Painting
Capturing the art of Cosquer
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 30 May 2022
Hand Stencils in Chhattisgarh
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 19 January 2022
New U-series dating of rock art in China
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 06 January 2022
Paleoanthropology
Denisovan connection in Laos
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 19 May 2022
Understanding Ice Age behaviour
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 October 2021
New type of ancient human discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 25 June 2021
Archaeology
'Palaeolithic Europe' - New Publication
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 06 June 2022
Excavations in China reveal cultural innovations
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 11 March 2022
Geographical origin of Willendorf figurine
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 02 March 2022
Anthropology
BBC's Nature and Us
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 22 November 2021
South Pacific Islanders used obsidian for tattoos
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 July 2016
Oldest evidence of domesticated rice in China
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 23 June 2016
World Heritage
Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 05 November 2021
Court decision halts Stonehenge tunnel
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 August 2021
Antony Gormley on the earliest sculptures
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 05 November 2020
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
David Coulson MBE
by Rock Art Network
16 June 2022
ROCK ART
Marra Wonga rock art site
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 28 June 2022
New look at ancient Arnhem bark paintings
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 09 June 2022
Art by Firelight?
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 21 April 2022
CAVE PAINTINGS
Capturing the art of Cosquer
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 30 May 2022
Hand Stencils in Chhattisgarh
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 19 January 2022
New U-series dating of rock art in China
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 06 January 2022
PALEOANTHROPOLOGY
Denisovan connection in Laos
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 19 May 2022
Understanding Ice Age behaviour
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 October 2021
New type of ancient human discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 25 June 2021
ARCHAEOLOGY
ANTHROPOLOGY
WORLD HERITAGE
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store