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Most examples of cave art have been found in France and in Spain, but a few are also known in Portugal, England, Italy, Romania, Germany, and Russia.
Art in the open, on shelters or on rocks, is extremely abundant all over the world and generally belongs to much later times and bears no relationship to the cave art found in Europe.
The World Heritage site of Chauvet Cave in southern France is famous—and a source of both wonder and controversy—for having the world’s oldest cave paintings.
Today, the cave is only accessible to scientists and a handful of visitors chosen by lottery.
Meantime, the Spanish Ministry of Culture has opened a replica cave at the adjacent National Museum and Research Center of Altamira.
Unlike most other decorated rock shelters of the Upper Paleolithic, Altamira cave was a place of domestic human habitation This was limited to the cave mouth and lobby area, although paintings and petroglyphs were created throughout the length of the cave.
About 12,000 BCE, a landslide sealed the cave's entrance, thus preserving its contents until its accidental discovery in the late 19th century.
When the cave was discovered in 1994, many scholars initially assumed that they must have been made around the same time as those at Lascaux, around 21,000 years ago.
But the first radiocarbon dates showed that Chauvet Cave had been occupied twice starting about 35,000 years ago.
As usual, archeologists remain undecided about when Altamira's parietal art was first created.
Early investigations suggested that the most of it was created at the same time as the Lascaux cave paintings - that is, during the early period of Magdalenian art (15,000 BCE).
But according to the most recent research, some drawings were made between 23,000 and 34,000 BCE, during the period of Aurignacian art, contemporaneous with the Chauvet Cave paintings and the Pech-Merle cave paintings.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating