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A Prehistoric Masterpiece Unveiled in France

By Linda Tancs

Discovered in 1994 in the Ardèche department of southern France, the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave contains the earliest known and best preserved figurative cave paintings in the world depicting Upper Paleolithic life.  Its 36,000-year-old paintings cover not only the typical herbivores dominating Paleolithic life but also stunning images of bears, panthers, lions and other predatory animals–424 animals and 14 species in all.  This prehistoric masterpiece would be lost to public viewing (in consideration of the need for preservation) were it not for the replica cave constructed less than five miles from the original site.  The official opening is on Saturday, 25 April.

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