|The Cosquer cave is located in the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille, not very far from Cap Morgiou, in the Bouches-du-Rhône Department(13).
The entrance to the cave is located 37 meters underwater, due to the rise of the Mediterranean in Paleolithic times.
It was discovered by diver Henri Cosquer in 1985, but its contents were not made public until 1991, when three divers became lost in the cave and tragically died.
Today, the cave can be accessed through a 175 meters (574 ft) long tunnel, the entrance of which is located 37 meters (121 ft) below the surface of the sea, because of changes in the relative altitudes of land and sea.
The ancient corresponding shore of Mediterranean sea was then several kilometers away and below as measured from the cave mouth. Sea surface was lower and land altitude higher because large volumes of water were retained in enormous icecaps, making the level of the sea 110 to 120 meters (361 to 394 ft) lower than today, affecting Mean Sea Level as calculated for aproximately 20,000 years ago during the peak of the last major glaciation (Würm glaciation).
The unique feature of this cave is that it contains several dozen works painted and engraved between 27,000 and 19,000 years ago. It is decorated with a variety of land animals, but also with seals and auks, fifty-five hand stencils, and numerous digital markings, dozens of geometric symbols, as well as the extraordinary representation of a "slain man".
In order to protect this exceptional site, but also for safety reasons, the cave is closed to the public.
Posted by Chance
21st February 2011ce