As of April 25, tourists who travel to Vallon-Pont d’Arc in France will be able to see the wonders of the Grotte Chauvet prehistoric cave art without harming the original and very delicate site. A newly opened copy, built near the original site, has been created to reproduce the original experience as closely as possible. The facility was toured by French President, Francois Hollande, on Friday.
Radiocarbon dating methods have shown that the real Grotte Chauvet cave art dates back to being used in two time periods: the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. These date back between 25,000 and 32,000 years.
The actual cave where the prehistoric hunting scenes of bears, rhinos, panthers and more animals from the ancient past are thought to be more than 32,000 years old. It was discovered by researchers in 1994 and has since been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The actual Grotte Chauvet cave is off limits to the public, but the new copy of these remarkable paintings is expected to draw lots of attention when tourists travel to the site to view it. The copy is only a short distance from the real prehistoric cave, which contains the world’s oldest charcoal cave drawings in the world. The ancient artists used a mixture of paints and engraving to create the realistic hunting scenes.
It took experts four years to reproduce the Grotte Chauvet cave via the use of technology like 3-D imaging; the entire construction costs total roughly $58 million dollars. On April 25, the replica cave will open up to the entire world.
Cave Art from the Grotte Chauvet Copy
The views from the copy of the Grotte Chauvet mimic the real one with precise details. The cave was constructed in the shape of a bear’s paw, and includes thousands of drawings. This artwork includes more than 400 animal drawings, which represent 14 different animal species. This replicated artwork was also done with charcoal and ochre.
Tourists who travel into the Grotte Chauvet cave copy will even get to experience the same smells and humid cavern conditions. They can adventure down a long sloped area as they enter the building, and then head into a dark, cool and wet room. From there, tourists will be able to view the replica skull and bones of a prehistoric Alpine ibex, a kind of goat. There are also stalagmites and stalactites like you would find in a real cave.
The cave art in the Chauvet Cave is just one form of creative expression. Witness art around the world in “Wanderlust.”