New French Paleolithic cave art

1 minute read

The AP is reporting on a new cave art find in France.

PARIS - Cave drawings thought to be older than those in the famed caves of Lascaux have been discovered in a grotto in western France, officials from the Charente region said Sunday.
A first analysis by officials from the office of cultural affairs suggests the drawings were made some 25,000 years ago, Henri de Marcellus, mayor of the town of Vilhonneur where the cave is located, told France-Info radio.

No details or pictures. The BBC has some quotes from the discoverer:

Gerard Jourdy, 63, said he found human and animal remains in the chamber in the Vilhonneur forest, in caves once used to dispose of animal carcasses.
The paintings included a hand in cobalt blue, he told AFP news agency.
The discovery was made in November, but kept secret while initial examinations were carried out.
Mr Jourdy also said he saw a sculpture of a face made from a stalactite - which would be a scientific first for the era, but experts were dubious about this claim, AFP says.
"In a small chamber I found the bones of two hyenas - complete skeletons, which is rare. And I saw human bones amid the debris - tibias, vertebrae and shoulder-blades," he told the news agency.
"Then in the bigger chamber there was this hand - very beautiful, very delicate. There was just the one in cobalt blue. When you come into the chamber it is like it is greeting you. It's incredible."

I wonder if those bones are really human. I guess we'll find out.

UPDATE (2/6/06): The New York Times has a short item including this:

Michel Bilaud, the governor of the department of Charente, expressed doubt about the art. "There are traces of human occupation," he said. "There are bones, and there are lines on the wall. There is a print of a hand. But for the rest, it is just marks. There is nothing figurative."