Researchers may have found the oldest human depiction of a volcano

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Researchers May Have Found The Oldest Human Depiction Of A Volcano


Volcanic eruptions are among Earth's most dramatic events, and it appears humans have been chronicling the fiery blasts for much longer than thought.

Researchers examining the prehistoric drawings in the famed Chauvet-Pont D'Arc cave believe they have found evidence of the oldest known depiction of an angry mountain.

The imagery in question has confounded experts for decades, as it is quite abstracted, showing simply conical shapes capped with light, outward curving lines.

Further, the enigmatic forms are situated amidst a plethora of animal depictions, and in some cases partially concealed by them.

Support for the theory they depict volcanic eruptions comes partly by way of a geological study of area rocks. Analysis showed the roughly 37,000-year-old drawings coincide with a period of volcanic activity observable from the cave region.

Outside of this discovery, the oldest known depictions of such blasts exist in Turkey's Çatalhöyük ruins and date back to about 7500 BC.

Related: See photos of Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes on Earth:

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Researchers may have found the oldest human depiction of a volcano
SICILY, ITALY - MAY 16: A stream of molten lava flows from Mount Etna on May 16, 2015 in Sicily, Italy. PHOTOGRAPH BY Marco Restivo / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Marco Restivo / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
SICILY, ITALY - MAY 16: A stream of molten lava flows from Mount Etna on May 16, 2015 in Sicily, Italy. PHOTOGRAPH BY Marco Restivo / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Marco Restivo / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
SICILY, ITALY - MAY 16: A stream of molten lava flows from Mount Etna on May 16, 2015 in Sicily, Italy. PHOTOGRAPH BY Simone Genovese / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Simone Genovese / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
SICILY, ITALY - MAY 12: Molten lava flows from Mount Etna during the volcano eruption on May 12, 2015 in Sicily, Italy. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. PHOTOGRAPH BY Marco Restivo / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Marco Restivo / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Lava flows from the Mount Etna volcano on the southern Italian island of Sicily near Catania on August 14, 2014. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Lava flows from the Mount Etna volcano on the southern Italian island of Sicily near Catania on August 13, 2014. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
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