Now in a paper published online today in , dating expert Alistair Pike of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and archaeologist Paul Pettitt of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, together with colleagues in Spain, applied a technique called uranium-series (U-series) dating to artworks from 11 Spanish caves.
Lascaux is famous for its Palaeolithic cave paintings, found in a complex of caves in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, because of their exceptional quality, size, sophistication and antiquity.
Experts estimate that the paintings are around 20,000 years old (between 17,000 and 22,000 years old depending on the dating technique used).
There are some questions however that archaeologists and prehistorians themselves do not have answers to.
They have fascinated generations of people and puzzled prehistorians since their discovery in September 1940, by a group of four local boys and their dog.
Beautiful, colourful depictions of animals as well as mysterious symbols and engravings, adorn the walls of the caves, situated in Dordogne in southern France.
At the same time, prehistoric art took a massive leap forward, as exemplified by the cave painting of western Europe, that reached its apogee on the walls and ceilings of Lascaux Cave (France) and Altamira Cave (Spain), both of which contain some of the greatest examples of Franco-Cantabrian cave art, from the Solutrean-Magdalenian era, dating to between 17,000 and 15,000 BCE.
(See also the magnificent bison paintings at Font de Gaume Cave in the Perigord.)Discovered in 1940, close to the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, Lascaux is especially famous for its painting, which includes a rare example of a human figure; the largest single image ever found in a prehistoric cave (the Great Black Bull); and a quantity of mysterious abstract signs, which have yet to be deciphered.But these hauntingly beautiful prehistoric cave paintings are in peril.