The Elements of Evolution (77-2-1) Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave

 Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave

Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in southern France presents a contrast in cave painting conventions. This cave has hundreds of animal paintings from 32–30 TYA, depicting at least 13 distinct species, including some rarely or never seen in other Paleolithic cave art. Rather than filling the walls exclusively with herbivores, various carnivores appear: bears, cave lions, panthers, and cave hyenas. Animal interactions are shown. Woolly rhinoceroses are depicted butting horns.

Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc artists employed some unique techniques. In several places, walls were scraped clear of debris, leaving a smoother and lighter surface for art-work. A 3-dimensional quality, along with suggested movement, was achieved by etching around the outlines of certain figures.