Earliest Drawings of Volcanoes Discovered?
A recent and global geological survey of a site near the famous Chauvet–Pont d’Arc cave in southern France indicates that images on the cave walls may depict volcanic eruptions.
Have archaeologists discovered the oldest known visualization of a volcanic eruption?
It’s possible. Researchers from the University of Paris–Saclay in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, have linked a spray-shaped drawing on the wall of the Chauvet–Pont d’Arccave to volcanic activity that occurred at about the same time the drawing was made back in the olden days according forensics.
The cave, discovered in 1994, is located about 22 miles (35 km) northwest of the Bas-Vivarais volcanic field, an area that contains several extinct volcanoes that erupted before people were known to occupy that region.
In 2012 the research team embarked on a geological survey of the Bas-Vivarais area to determine whether more-recent eruptions also took place, about 37,000 or 36,000 years ago, which would coincide with human habitation of the Chauvet cave.
Testing verified that eruptions did in fact happen during that period, and, given that the volcanoes would have been visible (and audible) from a vantage point on top of the cave, the scientists believe they have a strong hypothesis.
Until this geological testing, researchers of the Chauvet cave had assumed the red and white fountain-like images were abstract drawings.
The cave walls are largely covered in more-typical prehistoric red, black, and white drawings of animals.
The inclusion of non figurative imagery would have been unusual. Until now the earliest known image of a volcanic eruption was thought to be the 9,000-year-old drawing of Mount Hasan in a Neolithic mural at Çatalhüyükin south-central Turkey.
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