News of the WeekCAVE ART

Stone Age Artists--or Art Lovers--Unmasked?

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Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 31
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5540.31a

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PARIS-- Archaeologists may be on the way to solving two pivotal mysteries of prehistoric art: Who were the artists, and what was the meaning of their work? Radiocarbon dating of human remains found in the recently discovered Cussac Cave in the Dordogne Valley of southern France indicates that the bones are contemporaneous with beautiful engravings of animals and human figures etched on the cave walls. Although it might be impossible to prove that the remains were of the artists themselves, the skeletons may hold clues to who frequented the cave and why it had special significance.