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A DECORATED PALEOLITHIC CAVE IN THE ARDECHE REGION OF FRANCE. http:www.culture.frculturearcnatchauvetengrotte4.htm

Imagine stumbling on a cave full of paintings that hasn't been seen by another human being for perhaps 32,000 years. This is precisely what happened to a group of French scientists working in the hills of the Ard che region in southern France four years ago - and a little bit of that shock of discovery can be experienced by visiting these pages.

Most of the paintings found in the Chauvet Cave are of animals, and at least one of the artists who worked here had a liking for the fiercest of predators. The lions, panthers and rhinoceros seem extremely vivid, leaping off the smooth stone walls of the underground chambers.

The site explains how the find was authenticated, its significance in both scientific and art-historical terms, and a hint of the even greater riches yet to be uncovered in the region.

This little gem of a Web site is one of many produced by the French Ministry of Culture, all of which are offered in English and Spanish as well as French.

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