Lascaux dating

Most of the major images have been painted onto the walls using mineral pigments although some designs have also been incised into the stone. Among the most famous images are four huge, black bulls or aurochs in the Hall of the Bulls.

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Lascaux is a complex cave with several areas (Hall of the Bulls, Passage gallery) It was discovered on 12 September 1940 and given statutory historic monument protection in december of the same year.

In 1979, several decorated caves of the Vézère Valley - including the Lascaux cave - were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

Lascaux cave is a complex ecosystem and it has undergone nearly 70 years of major renovations—an enlarged entrance, a stairway, concrete flooring and two different air-conditioning systems, to name but a few alterations.

This entry was posted by Heather Pringle on Friday, August 1, 2008. Comments posted here do not represent the views or policies of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Radiocarbon dating has long been the method of choice, but it is restricted to organic materials such as bone and charcoal.

When such materials are lying on a cave floor near art on the cave wall, archaeologists have to make many assumptions before concluding that they are contemporary.

The Symposium took place under the aegis of France's Ministry of Culture and Communication, and presided over by Dr. Sections have been identified in the cave; the Great Hall of the Bulls, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery, and the Chamber of Felines.

The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories - animals, human figures and abstract signs. Also represented are cattle, bison, felines, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros, and a human.

At the same time, prehistoric art took a massive leap forward, as exemplified by the cave painting of western Europe, that reached its apogee on the walls and ceilings of Lascaux Cave (France) and Altamira Cave (Spain), both of which contain some of the greatest examples of Franco-Cantabrian cave art, from the Solutrean-Magdalenian era, dating to between 17,000 and 15,000 BCE.

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