NSU Staff Participates in French Cave Art Monument Expedition

From October 18 to November 2, Lidia Zotkina, Head of the Novosibirsk State University “Paleontology Platform” at the “New Archeology” Scientific-Educational Center, Senior Teacher at the Humanities Institute Archeology and Ethnography Section, and Tatyana Shevchenko, Researcher at the “Paleontology” Platform, took part in an expedition to the Abri du Poisson cave art monument in France (Dordogne). Researchers have been studying the monument for several years. During a survey in 2016, some previously unknown images were discovered on the arch of the canopy.

Two academic articles will be published presenting the results of this research. One of these will focus on the technological features of a fish image, which is one of the most interesting and unique images of Paleolithic art on this monument.

According to Zotkina, Abri du Poisson is known for its very realistic and detailed bas-relief depiction of a salmon, a very rare subject for Paleolithic cave art, and for a negative handprint made with manganese black paint.

Zotkina talked about the work,

The head of this expedition is the curator of the Catherine Cretin National Museum of Primeval History in Les Eyzies de Taynac . I am involved in the cave art trasology, including photogrammetry of individual elements for tracological analysis. We are also conducting experiments with Serge Mori, one of the greatest experts in archeological experiments in France.

Last year, a preserved, undisturbed layer of the Abri du Poisson monument was stripped. According to Zotkina, this is almost a miracle for French cave monuments discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. A team of scientists is currently collecting the results of geomorphological studies, analyzing ceiling taphonomy and section studies (stratigraphic columns), and they are waiting for OSL and radiocarbon dating data to determine when the monument was last studied.