Those who are responsible for archaeological sites, both historic and prehistoric, are faced with a dilemma. How do you balance historic preservation with teaching people that history? It’s like folks who live near a tourist attraction trying to balance the money tourists bring in with the damage they cause. But that’s something you can’t really balance. Even restricted tourism will damage fragile ancient artifacts over enough time. But what good are the artifacts if we can’t see them? France came up with a workaround scheme to protect Chauvet cave and its ancient paintings by building Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche. Tour guide Benjamin Jutz give us a lovely explanation of the value of the paintings in telling us about the people who first made them 30,000 years ago. Tom Scott went there to show us because we can’t afford to go to the south of France. Maybe next year. Or in another 30,000 years, by which time archaeologists will not be able to tell the difference.
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