The Candle Chamber

Home to a very fine rock formation that the Paleolithic people did not know about

Grotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Salle du Cierge (Candle Room) - Chauvet cave, Ardèche (2008/2008) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

This intermediate chamber, about 66 feet long, owes its name to a very fine stalagmite that the Paleolithic people did not know about. The presence of cave bears is apparent because of the numerous bones, some of which were still joined together, and the footprints and scratches seen on the soft floors and on the walls.

Torch smears (2011/2011) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

To go to the second part of the cave, people used this passage where many torch marks and residues are visible. Note that this passage has vaulted ceilings so low that they require current visitors to move forward on their knees.

Salle du Cierge (Candle Room) - Chauvet cave, Ardèche (2008/2008) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Only one animal figure was drawn in this space. A small mammoth's head drawn on the soft clay of the wall heralds the many other figures traced with fingers or imprinted in the Hillaire Chamber, where the Candle Chamber is the antechamber.

Broken stalagmitic floor (Chauvet Cave) by J. ClottesGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

A pendant rock suspended from the vaulted ceiling leaves a small three-foot space to pass under when reaching the end of the Candle Chamber. This natural pendant has two characteristics of human origin.

One section of the stalagmitic floor forming the sole of this pendant was deliberately extracted by Paleolithic people and moved to the entrance of the Hillaire Chamber.

On the other hand, a human could reactivate their torch by scraping the tip on the walls. This technique is recognizable by black marks, also known as torch marks.

Feline Fresco (Chauvet Cave, Ardèche) (2008/2008) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Credits: Story

The Syndicat mixte de l'Espace de restitution de la grotte Chauvet (Public Union to manage the Chauvet Cave/SMERGC) thanks the Ministry of Culture and Communication. This exhibition was created as part of an agreement linking these two partners to promote the Chauvet Cave and its geographical and historical context.
SMERGC is the designer, developer and owner of the La Grotte Chauvet 2 site (formerly known as Caverne du Pont d'Arc). It prepared and defended the application package of the Chauvet Cave for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

http://lacavernedupontdarc.org/
https://www.facebook.com/lagrottechauvet2/

SMERGC also thanks Google Arts & Culture.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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