The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories - animals, human figures and abstract signs. Also represented are cattle, bison, felines, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros, and a human.
Most of the major images have been painted onto the walls using mineral pigments although some designs have also been incised into the stone. Among the most famous images are four huge, black bulls or aurochs in the Hall of the Bulls.
East African artifacts support evolution of symbolic thinking in Middle Stone Age. Britain Creswell Crags -- discovered in 2003, the engravings are at least 12,800 years old Grotte Chauvet -- Pont-d'Arc.
Project site photographs Serengeti Genesis, project site Hathaway, James (2004). Full text (external) Ostrich beads indicate early symbolic thought. Full text (external) More than 300 caves or shelters with Paleolithic paintings and/or engravings have been discovered in multiple locations in Europe, from Andalucía in Spain to the Urals in Russia. Return to Chauvet Cave: Excavating the Birthplace of Art: the First Full Report. Chauvet, Jean-Marie, Eliette Brunel Deschamps, and Christian Hillaire (1996). The Chauvet Cave: the oldest known paintings in the world.
Late Cenozoic Environments and Hominid Evolution: a Tribute to Bill Bishop.
It works on any carbonate substance, such as coral or limestone, and involves measuring the balance between a uranium isotope and the form of thorium that it decays into.Instead of trying to date the paintings and engravings themselves, they are analysing carbonate deposits like stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over them.This means they don't risk harming irreplaceable art, and provides a more detailed view of prehistoric cultures.Indeed, Altamira's artists are renowned for how they used the natural contours of the cave to make their animal figures seem extra-real.The actual subterranean complex itself consists of a 270-metre long series of twisting passages ranging from 2-6 metres (about 7-20 feet) in height, in which more than 100 animal figures are depicted.