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Article . 2020
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Article . 2020
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Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory
Article . 2020 . Peer-reviewed
License: Springer TDM
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Numerical Reconstruction of Paleolithic Fires in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France)

Authors: Fabien Salmon; Catherine Ferrier; Delphine Lacanette; Jean-Christophe Mindeguia; Jean-Claude Leblanc; Carole Fritz; Colette Sirieix;

Numerical Reconstruction of Paleolithic Fires in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France)

Abstract

The Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France), famous for its remarkable rock art, also contains unique thermal-alterations such as rock spalling and color changes on the walls. These alterations resulted from intense fires that have not been observed in the other decorated caves thus far discovered. The functions of these unusual fires challenge archaeologists. To characterize these combustions, we used a numerical tool, previously validated with experimental data, to study the thermo-alterations in the Megaceros Gallery. This unprecedented approach in cave art research enabled us to assess the wood quantities and locations of the hearths responsible for the thermo-alterations. We report here that at least ten fires took place in the Megaceros Gallery while burning more than 170 kg of wood. Both simulation and in situ observations suggest that the branches were arranged in a tepee shape and purposefully positioned, some distance from the walls. This method therefore enables further analysis of the functions of these fires.

Country
France
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Hearth Cave Megaceros geography geography.geographical_feature_category biology biology.organism_classification Numerical reconstruction Archaeology Cave art Color changes Rock art Geology

Keywords

[SPI.OTHER]Engineering Sciences [physics]/Other, Archeology, [SHS.ARCHEO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Archaeology and Prehistory, Chauvet-Pont d'Arc, Aurignacian, Decorated cave, Fire, Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, [SPI.SIGNAL]Engineering Sciences [physics]/Signal and Image processing, Simulation

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    9
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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visibility
download
citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
views
OpenAIRE UsageCountsViews provided by UsageCounts
downloads
OpenAIRE UsageCountsDownloads provided by UsageCounts
9
Top 10%
Average
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24
50
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