Neanderthals were the first artists? Cave art from 64,000 years ago. years
New research by an international team of scientists has revealed that cave art on the Iberian Peninsula was created before the appearance of modern humans in Europe. This means that Neanderthals, hitherto considered our intellectually poorer cousins, also had an artistic vein, with other implications.
Scientists have taken under scrutiny cave paintings from three steely kilometers apartóIn caves across Spain. Ladder-like shapes, dots and handprints were painted and kneaded. There are also animal likenesses on the walls and numerous geometric symbols.
– Our dating results show that the art from these three caves in Spain is much older than previously thought. It was created about 64,000 years ago and predates the earliest such traces by wspóhe modern humans in Europe by more than 20,000 years. These paintings must have been created by the Neanderthalów – said Alistair Pike, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton in the UK, wspó³ author of the study, które was published in the „Science”.
According to the current leading theory, humans arrived in Europe from Africa about 40-45,000 years ago. Syndromeół researchers from the University of Southampton and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have determined the age of cave paintings in three caves in róThe water is found in various places in Spain. Scientists have used the uranium-thorium technique, whichóra according to specializedów is more accurate than the popular method of radiocarbon dating.
The uranium-thorium technique measures the decay of radiotwórczych isotopeóin uranium and thorium. The researchers took measurements of the sediment, whichóry covered the paintings. This type of sediment is formed very slowly by water running down the walls. The water contains a number of elementsów, but also has traces of uranium leached from the rock. And uranium is decaying at a steady, known rate. This type of dating has been used for a long time, but has rarely been used to estimate the age of cave art.
Researchers have analyzed more than 60 próbek taken from the La Pasiega caves (pónortheastern Spain), Maltravieso (western Spain) and Ardales (southwestern Spain). The paintings in these caves were made using ochre – pigment obtained from hematite.
Until now, the oldest known cave paintings have been dated to around 40,000 years old – are handprints and painted animal likenesses found in one of Indonesia’s caves. So far, the art found in the rótions of cave paintings in other parts of the world have been attributed to the ancestors of wspómodern man. But according to a new study, the paintings from Spain were created at least 64,000 years ago, which means they were the work of Neanderthalsów.
Of course, Neanderthal artów has been róalso identified, but in poróThe concept of the human ancestry is often seen as extremely elementary, simplistic and primitive, compared to what has been attributed to our own ancestors, he said. This study questions this approach, which could have further consequences.
This would mean that our belief that only the ancestors wspóof modern humans were mentally capable of creating symbolic works of art and making jewelry is wrong. This suggests róalso that someóre aspects thatóre thought to be unique to wspón modern humans, were in fact shared with our ancient cousins, potentially even their cognitive abilities were równe our own.
– The exact meaning of the paintings may forever remain unknown, but it was not simply decorating one’s living space. For our ancient relatives, this had some significance – noted Pike. He added that the execution of these paintings required spatial planning skills, the selection of sourcesóThe d dła of light and the knowledge of obtaining the right pigment from ochre.
– Neanderthals have an undeserved reputation as brutal moronsów. Because their bodies were "archaic" in the sense of having characteristics of older hominidsów – such as heavier bones and pronounced eyebrow arches – all assumed to be róAlso "behaviorally archaic” – said Paola Villa, an archaeologist whoóra studies Neanderthal culture at the University of Colorado Boulder.