Current problems in dating palaeolithic cave art
Following the 2” was published (Lorblanchet & Bahn 1993).However, we are not going to deal with the Chauvet Cave itself but instead discuss which archaeological methods are apt for determination of the age of Palaeolithic rock art.The common attitude to these methods is that they are highly subjective whereas, as a rule, scientific dates are accepted as objective and reliable. Rosenfeld, Smith 1997), the importance of which is undoubted, the other possibilities available to archaeology for dating rock art are losing ever more support.That means that the method and the results must not be rejected as a whole. A detailed presentation of an “archaeological” chronology of Upper Palaeolithic rock art and its justification would require a very large amount of pictures, the space for which is not available here. Instead, it is the methodical questions that will be discussed.Basically, the same procedures have been applied since the discovery of rock art and described several times (e.g. About ten years ago it was possible for the first time to gain radiocarbon data from minimal samples of the charcoal used by the painters of the Ice Age (e.g. As the majority of the results corresponded to the age that was to be expected based on general considerations (Züchner 1993) this gave immediately rise to the assumption that one had found an “objective” way to determine its age.At about the same time microorganisms enclosed in the rock varnish were dated successfully.It seemed that here too had been found a way to determine the exact age of petroglyphs.
Congress of the Hugo Obermaier-Gesellschaft at Tübingen, April 2000.
2001 Extended version of a communication presented during the 42.