28,000–23,000 BP) and the black paintings are from the Early Magdalenian period (early part of c. Pettitt and Bahn also contended that the dating is inconsistent with the traditional stylistic sequence and that there is uncertainty about the source of the charcoal used in the drawings and the extent of surface contamination on the exposed rock surfaces.
By 2011, more than 80 radiocarbon dates had been taken, with samples from torch marks and from the paintings themselves, as well as from animal bones and charcoal found on the cave floor.
Clottes concludes that the "dates fall into two groups, one centered around 27,000–26,000 BP and the other around 32,000–30,000 BP." Some archaeologists have questioned these dates.
Christian Züchner, relying on stylistic comparisons with similar paintings at other well-dated sites, expressed the opinion that the red paintings are from the Gravettian period (c.
There are also two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them.After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that due to a landslide which covered its historical entrance, the cave remained untouched until it was discovered in 1994.The soft, clay-like floor of the cave retains the paw prints of cave bears along with large, rounded depressions that are believed to be the "nests" where the bears slept.The radiocarbon dates from these samples suggest that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet: 35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago.A research article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May 2012 by scientists from the University of Savoy, Aix-Marseille University and the Centre National de Prehistoire confirmed that the paintings were created by people in the Aurignacian era, between 30,000 and 32,000 years ago.The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 32,000–30,000 years BP.