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35,000-Year-Old Rock Art, Now in 3D


Via / Alexandria Sivak

Drawing of lions and a bison in the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave, France. Rup'Art Productions

Drawing of lions and a bison in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave, France. Rup’Art Productions

A talk with the producer of the new documentary film The Final Passage, screening December 4 at the Getty Center

Ancient humans once painted and engraved images onto the surfaces of caves and their rocky dwellings. This early form of communication, now called “rock art,” enabled prehistoric people to share their ideas and observations of the world, not to mention illustrate their existence within it.

Some of the oldest known and best-preserved rock art is located in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave in the Ardèche region of southcentral France. Untouched since its entrance was covered in a landslide over 35,000 years ago, the cave was discovered in 1994 and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014. Since its discovery, the cave has been closed to the public for preservation, but the film The Final Passage, which will have its U.S. debut at the Getty Center on December 4, offers an immersive 3D experience of Chauvet.

Martin Marquet, the producer of the film, told us about the new technology used to make The Final Passage, the importance of conserving cultural heritage, and rock art’s enduring legacy in modern street art.

The Final Passage offers an “immersive experience” of the cave. What technology did the filmmakers use?

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