A treasure under the sea
In the Nineties, french diver Henri Cosquer discovered an archaeological treasure lying at a depth of 37 metres in the Calanques fjords in Marseille. The cave, soon to be named after him, was adorned with over 500 exceptional prehistoric cave paintings featuring animals (penguins, seals, horses, bison and aurochs) and stencilled hands. The Cosquer Cave is an exceptional witness to human presence at the site at two different periods: 33,000 and 19,000 BC. The historians Jean Courtin and Jean Clottes confirm the very ancient origin of the cave paintings.
At the time, the entrance to the cave was above water; this changed after the Ice Age and the cave, currently threatened by rising sea levels (around 3 millimetres per year), is ultimately doomed to disappear. To immortalize this unparalleled legacy and raise awareness around the issue of global warming, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Council decided to create an exact reconstruction of the Cosquer Cave in the heart of Marseille: a 70 million euro project, scheduled for completion in June 2022.