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Dominique BAFFIER

Prehistorian and archaeologist specialising in cave art. Curator General of Heritage

Appointed curator of Chauvet Cave in 2000, she set up the preservation office and managed it until 2014. Member of the UMR 7041 ArcScan  CNRS  Nanterre prehistorical ethnology laboratory. 

She studied under André Leroi-Gourhan at the Sorbonne, and joined the CNRS laboratory in 1973, taking part in the excavations at the Magdalenian site in Pincevent. She has managed the research team for the major Arcy-sur-Cure (Yonne) cave since 1994, where the paintings were discovered in 1990. 

She has been a member of the Chauvet Cave scientific team since it was set up in 1998, and works with Valérie Feruglio on the Brunel Chamber and Megaloceros Gallery. They have shown the existence – for the first time in a decorated cave  of several panels produced by the palms of ochred hands placed together, which endows the Aurignacians who lived in the cave with physical reality. At the entrance to the Megaloceros Gallery, they have demonstrated the existence of successive phases in the creation of the panels. The first phase identified consists of black paintings that are older than those currently seen and therefore date to before 36,000 BP.


Reindeer Pendant,Mammoth Panel,Vulva Panel,Feline Panel,Bison Panel,Small Rhinoceros Panel,Ibex Panel,Megaloceros Panel,Entrance Panel,Rhinoceros and the Felines,Dancing Reindeer,Rhinoceros Panel,Immediate protection measures,The Layout,A High-security Cave,A Fragile Setting,Archaeology of the Megaloceros Gallery,Graphic expression,Brunel Chamber,Megaloceros of the Entrance,Panel of the Brushed Horse,Three Lions,Mammoth of the Entrance,Points of La Gloriette,Entrance Panel,Bears of the recess,Ibex of the recess,Red Cervid,Engraved Stoup,Black Feline,Dominoes,Panel of Yellow Horses,Large Panel of Hand Dots,Panel of Positive Hand Prints,Small Rhinoceroses