Caves with mysterious drawings in France

A cave in France reveals the secrets of early human rituals and burials.

It is the Grotte de Cussac cave located in Dordogne, southwest of France, between the valley and the Pyrenees.

The entire area is known for its abundance of prehistoric cave paintings found mainly in the Vézère valley, including the famous Lascaux cave paintings.

Picture 1 of Caves with mysterious drawings in France
Grotte de Cussac Cave has more than 800 stylized carvings of animal and human shapes.

However, unlike the previously checked caves, Grotte de Cussac cave has more than 800 stylized carvings of animal and human shapes created between 25,000 and 30,000 years ago.

For a decade, an archaeological research team discovered Grotte de Cussac cave, gathering evidence of the life, customs and beliefs of the people at that time.

The international team of researchers is led by Professor Jacques Jaubert of the University of Bordeaux. In the report, the professor said that the cave contained the remains of at least six people, dating around 25,000 and 30,000 years ago. These extremely rare discoveries represent the only known examples of humans buried very deep in a cave containing artworks.

Dr. Eline Schotsmans, a research fellow at the University of Wollongong and University of Bordeaux, said that in addition to the usual challenges associated with piecing together the ancient past from archaeological monuments, the Grotte de Cussac project presented give researchers some other obstacles.

Among the challenges, all cave research must be conducted on site because excavation is not allowed, and nothing can be moved, or removed from the cave. To ensure the ancient site is protected, the French Ministry of Culture has classified the cave as a National Heritage and has limited its impact on it. Moreover, the high concentration of carbon dioxide is measured inside the cave at certain times of the year and it can only conduct safety studies, for three months each year.

Picture 2 of Caves with mysterious drawings in France
One of the remains in the Grotte de Cussac cave.

Dr. Schotsmans said it was necessary to protect the cave, and archaeologists had to wear sterile protective clothing and rubber boots to prevent even an external sediment from entering. This ancient time capsule.

More frightening is that any external microorganisms or fungi, introduced into an almost enclosed environment, can have a negative effect on cave conservation, including the surface of the cave.

The basic thing being protected is that the particularly rare human remains are located at three locations in the cave. Archaeologists said the remains were deliberately placed in that location. Practicing rituals clearly between 25,000 and 30,000 years ago has never been recorded before.

The bodies were arranged in a special way. The cave community moved the bodies after death and the remains of different people lay alternately.

Dr. Schotsmans believes that a society's funeral rites and its beliefs and practices relate to the event of death, the relationship between the dead and the living. The goal of the team in the near future is to rebuild the ancient people's vision of death by focusing on how the human skeleton is managed and performing rituals.

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