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A single individual was allowed to enter the cave for 20 minutes once a week to monitor climatic conditions.

Jean Clottes is emphatic; Palaeolithic cave paintings represent a practice that existed for an extremely long period of time, but it is an art-form that can never be recreated, even though the artists were our ancestors, and we look like they would have looked, and we share the same size brains.

The Chauvet Cave is one of the most famous prehistoric rock art sites in the world.

Located in the Ardeche region of southern France, along the bank of the river Ardeche near the Pont-d'Arc, this cave was only discovered as recently as 1994, happened upon by a small team of cavers led by Jean-Marie Chauvet.

Chauvet Cave's importance is based on two factors: firstly, the aesthetic quality of these Palaeolithic cave paintings, and secondly, their great age.

With one exception, all of the cave art paintings have been dated between 30,000 & 33,000 years ago. Jean Clottes headed the first research team in Chauvet Cave, under great security.

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