The Gravettian presence
34 000 to 25 000 years
The numerous datings of charcoal provide the main evidence for a Gravettian presence
The charcoals indicating dates contemporary with the Gravettian culture, or between 34,000 and 25,000 years ago, are associated with various anthropogenic events. Some are dispersed over the cave floor and have sometimes accumulated in small natural depressions, while others are associated with probable combustion structures as in the Candle Gallery and the Megaloceros Gallery, but the great majority come from the torch smears made on the cave walls during underground forays.
Even if, at present, it has not been possible to date any work of wall art to this period, their probable existence should be considered. The hypothesis that the authors of Gravettian cave art might have used mineral pigments then comes to mind. The negative hands obtained by blowing red ochre, together with a number of animal representations and signs may thus be part of the formal variability of Gravettian art.
Whatever the case, if the Gravettian forays were made by artists they left very few traces of their passage.