Today we look into a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site which has some similarities with the rock art found in Australia. The relatively recently found (1994) and listed (2014) property of Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc (Ardèche, France) showcases a number of impressive charcoal drawings, that document the fauna of some 30,000 years ago.

We share with you an article that divulges the latest results of a study, as published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team analysed 259 radiocarbon dates related to the rock art, human activities, and bone remains found in the cave. The results show that the cave went through two different periods of human occupation: the oldest from 37,000 to 33,500 years ago, and the most recent from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago.

The article states that <<radiocarbon dating from the black charcoal drawings reveal that most were probably created during the first phase of human occupation, between 37,000 to 33,500 years ago. These findings challenge traditional beliefs about parietal art. Indeed, experts were surprised that our human ancestors were able to create such rich and detailed frescoes, so far back in the past.

“Now, we understand that even at this time, humans were capable of creating such magnificent and elaborate artworks. The drawings are full of dynamism, they reflect a real desire to transmit something to an audience,” study author Anita Quiles, from the French Institute for Eastern Archaeology, told IBTimes UK.>>

As Friends of Australian Rock Art we are very pleased that the latest scientific results confirm such old age for these masterpieces of human ingenuity. Surely, we look forward to the day when talking about rock art being as old as 40 to 30,000 years old will be less surprising… because hopefully, by then, knowledge of the ancient Australian Rock Art will be widespread and widely recognised – perhaps even as UNESCO sites.