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Cave Replica

A scientific and artistic restitution

The scientific team supported the design and creation of the Pont d'Arc Cavern , a replica of the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc cave. They also helped to define the content of the discovery Centre.  The aim of this involvement was to convey the richness of this cave and the knowledge that the team have acquired through their work.  

The restitution of the panels

One of the challenges of the cavern was to recreate the emotion of the wall art. Known visual artists were appointed to work on them:  

  • Alain DALIS (Arc et Os): composed of 10 artists, the workshop at Montignac in Dordogne created 27 wall art panels of paintings and engravings at level I.
  • Gilles Tosello (Création Graphique in association with DécoDiffusion). With a diploma in graphic arts and a doctorate in prehistory, Gilles Tosello is a member of the scientific team. In his workshop in Toulouse, he produced the charcoal painting of the 44 m2 Panel of the Horses with its 50 figures, and the Large lion fresco (70 m2). David Sartre-Doublet, artist, seconded him in this unusual project.  

The archaeological and geological support for the creation of the panels was conducted with J.-M. Geneste and J.-J. Delannoy.

The underground landscapes and palaeontological remains

One of the other challenges of the replica was recreating the diversity of underground landscapes and wall states within the cave, as well as the palaeontological richness.  Recreating a reflection of the original cave, expressing its geomorphological complexity, and showing the strong presence of the bears, require a transfer of knowledge to the sculptors, artists and painters.  Different documents have been produced for this purpose by the scientific team, including:

  • a book of facies to give geological and geomorphological coherence to the anamorphose based on the major sectors of the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave. This book was accompanied by cards and an informed 3D model (support: Jean-Jacques Delannoy)
  • a palaeontology book for the production of bones, skulls represented in the facsimile (support: Philippe Fosse).
  • an ichnology and archaeology blog to describe the traces, footprints and tracks left on the floors and walls by the animals, as well as the pre-historic people and developments (support: Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Philippe Fosse and Jean-Michel Geneste).  

This support and regular monitoring of the work and workshops were managed by SCENE.