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A few are not even supposed to exist, like weird butterflyish animals or chimerical figures half bison half woman. These may be linked to the hallucinations. The trip is such that some archeologists think that it had a ritual nature, with people transcending into a new state as they descended into the final room.
On Sunday, December 18, 1994, Jean-Marie Chauvet led his two friends, Éliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire, on the Cirque d'Estre toward the cliffs.
A faint air current emanating from a small opening at the end of a small cave had attracted his attention and he now wanted to satisfy his curiosity once and for all.
All three had a passion for speleology and had long stopped counting their discoveries. It was late in the afternoon and the small cavity into which they penetrated was already known since it was situated very close to a popular hiking trail. But there, behind the fallen rocks, they were sure there was something more…
They dug a passage, crawled through it, and soon found themselves at the edge of an obscure shaft. They did not have the equipment necessary to continue.
By the time they got back to their cars, night had already fallen. They gathered up the essential tools, hesitated for a moment, and then returned to their discovery.
They descended with their speleological ladder and discovered a vast chamber with a very high ceiling. It was filled with magnificent, glittering concretions.
They progressed in a single file line toward another chamber as big as the first one, and there admired the unexpected geological wonders that surrounded them.
They also saw animal bones scattered on the floor. They explored almost the entire network of chambers and galleries, and on the way back out, Éliette saw an amazing sight in the beam of her lamp: a small mammoth drawn with red ochre on a rocky spur hanging from the ceiling. "They were here!" she cried out, and from that instant they began searching all of the walls with great attention. They discovered hundreds of paintings and engravings.