Archaeology
27 February 2024 ( 38 views )
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Cosquer Cave: Only Known Underwater Cave From The Stone Age

The Cosquer Cave is a prehistoric cave located in the Calanque de Morgiou in Marseille, France, discovered in 1985 by diver Henri Cosquer. The entrance to the cave is located 37 m underwater, due to the Holocene sea level rise. The cave contains various prehistoric rock art engravings, estimated to be around 27,000 years old. What sets the Cosquer Cave apart is its underwater entrance, which suggests that it was used by ancient humans during a time when sea levels were lower.

Cosquer Cave

In 1991 the cave was authenticated and revealed to the general public. A year later it was classified as a historical monument. Since then it has been studied by historians and researchers. Unfortunately, with the rising waters, this cave is doomed to disappear, some of the paintings are already partially submerged. The need to bring this unique cave to the surface and share it with the world will become a priority. The cave is currently inaccessible and its entrance has been closed.

The art found in the Cosquer Cave offers valuable insights into the culture, lifestyle, and artistic capabilities of Upper Paleolithic humans

Cosquer Cave

Cosquer Cave is home to 500 paintings and engravings that were made during two distinct periods of occupation, the first 27,000 years ago and the last 19,000 years ago. Half of them depict animals drawn in bold lines, such as bison, antelopes, ibex, seals, auks, and numerous horses. The walls also feature 200 geometric designs. Except for an engraving showing a half-man, half-seal creature, the only human depictions are red or black hand stencils, some just outlines, others colored in. Thumbs always seem to be shown intact, whereas other fingers are often missing or truncated. A computer analysis suggests these drawings are mostly of female hands.

A team of scientists armed with ultra-modern technology have created a near-perfect replica of the cave, as the only way to save this priceless prehistoric art. It’s now on display in central Marseille.

Cosquer Cave
Cosquer Cave
Cosquer Cave

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