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More than 20,000 years ago in the depths of the Ice Age, humans drew some of the finest known examples of prehistoric art in caves such as Lascaux and Chauvet-Pont d'Arc in France.
This animal then became a separate species and is an ancestor of today's European bison or wisent, which prior to this research had seemingly appeared from nowhere in the fossil record.
The cave is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche River before the Pont d'Arc opened up.
The gorges of the Ardèche region are the site of numerous caves, many of them having some geological or archaeological importance.
The Chauvet Cave is uncharacteristically large and the quality, quantity, and condition of the artwork found on its walls have been called spectacular.
Most of the artwork dates to the earlier, Aurignacian, era (30,000 to 32,000 years ago).
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The paintings are primarily of large animals, typical local and contemporary fauna that correspond with the fossil record of the Upper Paleolithic time.