In comparison to geological timescales, human documentation of geological events only extends back into a mere fraction of the Earth’s past: the oldest-known depiction of a volcanic eruption is found in Turkey, in a mural dating back to 6,600 BCE. But according to a new paper published in the journal PLoS ONE, that date may have just been pushed back even further, by a scene painted in France’s Chauvet-Pont D’Arc cave.

Discovered in 1994, Chauvet-Pont D’Arc cave is the home to an extensive gallery of Paleolithic cave art, created over a number of periods between 23,000 and 36,000 years ago. The illustrations in this cave are the earliest known examples of human art, documenting the evolution of mankind’s artistic expression.
read more