Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Study shows French prehistoric paintings ‘oldest and most elaborate’

The prehistoric rock paintings of bears and horses in France’s Chauvet cave are more than 30,000 years old, new radiocarbon dating evidence has shown, confirming that the well-preserved cave art is the most ancient and most elaborate of its kind.

Experts have long debated whether the sophisticated animal drawings in a famous French cave are indeed the oldest of their kind in the world, and a study out Monday suggests that yes, they are.

The smooth curves and fine details in the paintings of bears, rhinoceroses and horses in the Chauvet cave in southern France's picturesque Ardeche region are so advanced that some scholars thought they dated from 12,000 to 17,000 years ago.

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