Some of the most spectacular examples of prehistoric artwork cannot be found in a museum. Instead, you need to visit a place like Ardèche in Southern France to view some of the best preserved cave paintings in history—and best of all, you can explore this cave from the comfort of your home. The cave contains hundreds of paintings of animals and other figures, as well as fossilized remains and evidence of early human life.
Some of the highlights of the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave virtual tour include:
Bison of the Pillar: Two bison drawn in black and then engraved. See how the lower bison has been partially erased? This is due to the passage of bears through the cave, slowly rubbing off the painting over time.
Panel of the Positive Hand Prints: Most children have made handprint art in school—well these handprints are thousands of years old, left behind alongside engravings and drawings of 50 different animal species.
The Cactus Gallery: One of the more intriguing elements of the cave developed after its human and animal inhabitants’ time—these striking white calcite deposits from the Holocene Era offer some dramatic visuals unseen by the Paleolithic humans who created the paintings.
Skull Chamber: A spooky name for one of the most riveting chambers in the exhibit. The Skull Chamber has many areas to explore beyond the bear skull that provides its name.
Curious to learn more about humans in prehistoric France? Visit the cave yourself and share what you find.