The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 32,000–30,000 years BP.
As recently as spring 2016, an additional 88 radiocarbon dates indicate two periods of habitation.
Most of the artwork dates to the earlier, Aurignacian, era (30,000 to 32,000 years ago).
This combination of subjects has led some students of prehistoric art and cultures to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic, or magical aspect to these paintings.
One drawing, later overlaid with a sketch of a deer, is reminiscent of a volcano spewing lava, similar to the regional volcanoes that were active at the time.
One from 37,000 to 35,000 years ago and another from 31,000 to 28,000.
The cave is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche River before the Pont d'Arc opened up.
Fossilized bones are abundant and include the skulls of cave bears and the horned skull of an ibex.