News & CommentArchaeology

Chauvet Study Gets the Go-Ahead

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Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 26
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.26


Paris—Earlier this month, France's Ministry of Culture awarded archaeologist Jean Clottes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: He was chosen to direct research at the Grotte Chauvet in southern France, recently discovered site of the world's oldest known cave paintings. This is not surprising perhaps, as Clottes is the culture ministry's own scientific adviser on prehistoric art and one of the world's leading authorities in the field. But Clottes was not handed the job on a plate: He had to compete for the right to study the cave against another French team and had to endure legal wrangles over rights to photographs taken of the cave paintings and compensation for the owners of the land the cave was found on.