STONE-AGE BOMBSHELL

STUNNING CAVE PAINTINGS TURN OUT TO BE THE OLDEST AS WELL, UPSETTING SOME ASSUMPTIONS OF ART HISTORY

It was clear from the start that the cave that park ranger Jean-Marie Chauvet stumbled upon in the south of France last year was a major archaeological find. Like the famous Lascaux cave nearby, the limestone cavern was covered with spectacular paintings from the depths of prehistory. This one seemed much older, though -- maybe 20,000 years, compared to 17,000 for Lascaux -- and it contained much more artwork, including images of animals, such as owls, panthers and hyenas, that had rarely if ever been seen on cave walls.

But as electrifying as the discovery was, the news just announced by...

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