The results require integration into a high-precision Bayesian model, which also makes use of archaeological evidence.
This approach enables the identification of distinct human and animal occupations in the cave in relation to past geomorphological events.
They include 259 radiocarbon dates, mainly related to the rock art and human activity in the cave.
We present here more than 80 previously unpublished dates.
A set of more than 80 previously unpublished Other dating methods were applied to different materials.
Heated wall fragments were dated by thermoluminescence to determine the age of hearth structures (17, 18).
Uranium-series dating was applied to carbonate concretions superimposed on some Cl exposure dating of rock, indicating collapses that occurred in the past and that sealed off the (paleo) entrance of the cave (21) (Fig.
In the chronology presented here, we use all of the absolute dates obtained from the art works, as well as other data associated with the parietal art, and animal and human occupations. This research includes two intercomparison programs performed by various laboratories (14, 15); the charcoal samples were recently integrated into the Sixth International Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program (16).
Cave bears also took refuge in the cave until 33,000 y ago.
The cave of Chauvet-Pont d’Arc (Vallon-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche, Southern France), with its vivid red and black drawings and paintings, as well as engravings, is a prehistoric decorated cave of exceptional interest, recently classified as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site (1–9).
The radiocarbon dates were calibrated with the Int Cal13 curve (39, 40) using Ox Cal software (v.4.2).
All of the chronometric evidence leads to the same primary conclusions, showing two distinct human occupations, the first ranging from 37 to 33 ka cal (calibrated) B. We selected only samples with an uncertainty of less than 1,500 C y (1σ) and that yielded more than 0.1 mg of carbon.