human evolution

Homo sapiens Artwork. Paintings in the Cave of Cosquer


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The paintings in the Cave of Cosquer, in France

Cosquer, discovered in 1985, contains paintings surprisingly well preserved because the cave is flooded all year round. In order to get inside, one has to submerge 37 meters down and swim more than 100 meters across to reach the paintings. This cave is unfortunately closed to the public, so it is not possible to visit it.

The age of the paintings was determined from charcoal samples the artists left on the floor and some specks of organic pigment from the walls. Most paintings are dated 27,000 years. The cave also contains one of the few human figures from this period. There is a simple drawing of a man who was apparently killed by spears. Some sketches, like the seals and the penguins, are more recent. They are about 18,000 years old.

Just like in the rest of the caves, there are plenty of handprints on the walls of Cosquer. It is interesting that one-third of the hands have missing fingers. At the time the paintings were made and the cave was inhabited, the sea level was well below the current level, and the sea shore was many kilometers away from the present coast.

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