Sunday, July 23, 2006

NEW FRENCH CAVE ART FIND

Just recently the French Culture Ministry took over ownership of a cave in the Vilhonneur forest in western France. What's so extraordinary about this decorated cave from the Upper Paleolithic Period is that a 27,000 year old human skeleton was laid out in a room decorated with ancient art.

A single face drawn in the cave could be among the world's oldest known graphic representations of a human face, says Jean-Yves Baratin, archaeology curator for the Poitou-Charentes region. He said two pieces of calcite that split were used to form the hair with two black horizontal strokes depicting the eyes. A vertical stroke formed the nose and another horizontal stroke became the mouth.

The Vilhonneur caves features a series of decorations, including a negative imprint of a right hand, surrounded in black. It was made by blowing color onto the area around the hand.

A reminder -- the famous Lascaux cave dates to 13,000 years ago.

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