Lascaux cave dating
But by the late 1950s, the visitors breath was blamed for the appearance of lichen and small crystals on the walls, prompting the government to close Lascaux to the public in 1963.
Since then, only five people per day, five days a week, have been allowed to visit the underground gallery by special permission, and tourists are steered into a replica of the cave complex nearby.
Confirmation that the art might have been representative of astronomy comes in the knowledge that the cave opening was orientated towards the sunset on the summer solstice.
This would have naturally raised awareness of the movement of the sun over its annual cycle.
Only [one] hundred years earlier or later the distance was already larger.
The six stars in the Salle des Taureaux therefore represent a striking and excellent heavenly marker for the beginning of autumn and of spring.
We can assume from their large number that the society from which the artist(s) came from tolerated people painting walls while others hunted or made weapons for the hunters.
In 1999, the curator of Lascaux and others witnessed the event for the first time in over 15,000 years.
When the system had been established, an infestation of Fusarium solani, a white mould, began spreading rapidly across the cave ceiling and walls.
The mould is considered to have been present in the cave soil and exposed by the working of tradesmen, leading to the spread of the fungus which was treated with quicklime.
Even better is the star 27 Tau (Atlas; 3m.6, : 12h 17.8m, : 2 34).
This star reached its smallest distance of 2.6 at the time of 15300BC.Since 2007, a new fungus, which has created grey and black blemishes, has begun spreading in the real cave.