The University of Arizona

Dating French and Spanish Prehistoric Decorated Caves in Their Archaeological Contexts

H Valladas, D Genty, E Kaltnecker, A Quiles, N Tisnérat-Laborde, M Arnold, E Delqué-Količ, C Moreau, D Baffier, J J Cleyet Merle, J Clottes, M Girard, J Monney, R Montes, C Sainz, J L Sanchidrian, R Simonnet


The LSCE research program on prehistoric art associates the chronological studies of both parietal representations and their archaeological context. This multidisciplinary approach provides chronological arguments about the realization period(s) of the parietal representations. This article presents chronological investigations carried out in several French (La Grande Grotte, Labastide, Lascaux, La Tête-du-Lion, Villars) and Spanish (La Garma, Nerja, La Pileta, Urdiales) decorated caves. Several types of organic materials collected from different areas of the caves near the walls and in connection with parietal art were dated, to determine the periods of human presence in the cave, a presence that may have been related to artistic activities. These new radiocarbon results range from 33,000–29,000 (La Grande Grotte) to 16,000–14,000 cal BP (Urdiales).

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16346

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