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Homo sapiens Artwork. Paintings in the Cave of Chauvet

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The paintings in the Cave of Chauvet, in France

Chauvet, located in southern France, is the cave containing the oldest prehistoric paintings. Their age is estimated between 32,000 and 30,000  years old, although radiocarbon dating shows the paintings were done in two or three different stages. It is interesting to think how the distance in time between us and the painters of the cave of Altamira is the same as the distance between the painters of Altamira and the painters of Chauvet.

The Chauvet paintings must have seemed as old to the painters of Altamira, as Altamira with a history of 15,000 years seems to us. The artistic tradition beginning in Chauvet would last around 20,000 years and spread throughout Europe and Western Asia.

There are some footprints in Chauvet showing there was a visitor around 27,000 years ago, 3 to 5,000 years after the paintings had been made. According to the size of the footprints he left behind and to two handprints on the wall, he was not older than 10.

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