Let me put that number in perspective. Thirteen to fourteen thousand years ago is too much time for humans to imagine. As you walk the kilometer underground to the cave paintings, you pass graffiti from early cave visitors from 1603 and later, and to us, that seemed quite impressive. That time frame seems impossibly ancient to us North Americans, who think in terms of just a few generations. Our tour guide, Miriam, explained that those visitors from the recent past felt little appreciation for the paintings because they had not yet been carbon dated, and they thought mankind began with Adam and Eve just a number of generations previous, therefore felt no guilt when they left names and dates in the cave. Two thousand years ago we have the Roman Empire and Jesus Christ alive and healthy. The Egyptian pyramids were being constructed about five thousand years ago, give or take a few hundred years. Even that is a mind-boggling amount of time for me to imagine.
We were only able to stay a short time in front of the paintings because our mere presence hastens the deterioration process. But, we were able to study them and wonder why they were created, why only some animals were chosen to paint, mostly bison, horses and ibex, and why early mankind ventured to far underground to paint when they had other rock canvasses nearby? Scientists are able to answer some questions, such as what was used for paint and when they were painted, but no one can say with certainty why they were made. So, when I look at paintings made by mankind thirteen thousand years ago, I can rest assured I will never see anything, no evidence of man's passage, that is older. The only place I will see evidence of man that is more ancient is human bones, or stone tools, in a museum, and that doesn't fire my imagination like a paining on a cave wall.
(Please note that these are not my photos, as you are not allowed to take pictures in the caves. These are photos from other websites. My thanks to them.)