Découvertes de peintures dans la grotte paléolithique de Gouy (Seine-Maritime) : apport d'un éclairage inhabituel dans l'étude de l'art pariétal


fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 3 (2) - Pages 143-156

Published on 31 March 2004

Discovery of paintings in the Palaeolithic cave of Gouy (Seine-Maritime, France): contribution of an unusual lighting system in the study of parietal art

On the richly engraved walls of Gouy, some traces of red colour seemed to bear witness to a minute use of paint. The study of these vestiges required a method capable of accentuating their possible outlines. After fruitless consultations and experiments, a solution was found in a domain very different from that of the study of parietal art. The adopted method, a lighting system (originally for use in biology) is particularly effective. This is the first time it has been used as an investigative method in the caves. In its first utilisation, it revealed a painted line, 1.3 m long (dark red). Yet no trace of paint had been known at this place. The section of wall in question was familiar and well published (for its engravings). The red line had never been discerned nor photographically recorded. This discovery led one to think that other painted elements might survive, and this was subsequently confirmed. Various (extremely ‘readable’) data have also been revealed by the same means.


Parietal art, Upper Palaeolithic, paintings, study, lighting systems, Gouy

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