"Chauvet Cave in the valley of the Ardèche River in France is filled with paintings, engravings and drawings created more than 30 000 years ago, of cave lions, mammoths, rhinos, bison, cave bears and horses. It contains the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is situated on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River. The cave was first explored on December 18, 1994. As well as the paintings they discovered fossilised remains, prints, and markings from a variety of animals, some of which are now extinct.
The cave is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche River before the Pont d'Arc opened up. The Chauvet Cave, however, is uncharacteristically large and the quality, quantity, and condition of the artwork found on its walls is stunning. Most of the artwork dates to the earlier, Aurignacian, era (30 000 to 32 000 years ago). The later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25 000 to 27 000 years ago, left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves. After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that the cave had been untouched until discovered in 1994. The footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately. Near-toxic levels of carbon dioxide and radon mean that visitors can enter the cave for only a few hours each day."
- http://www.donsmaps.com/chauvetcave.html (check out this site. more info +more pictures.)