Paleolithic Cave Arts in Northern Spain(1) El Castillo Cave, Cantabria





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Published on Aug 23, 2012

Is this the world's oldest cave painting ?
Over the summer of 2004 from the autumn of 1997, we executed photoVR shooting at 23 major caves that are located in Northern Spain to build a multimedia database of the Paleolithic Arts in Northern Spain. This is a documentary of that time we shot at El Castillo cave in April, 1998.
El Castillo cave is well known for its long sequence of stratigraphy that goes back to the late Acheulian of about 150,000 years B.P. from the end of the Upper Paleolithic and it is providing valuable information about the trandition, or replacement, between the Neanderthal populations and the Homo Sapiens. In this cave can be seen hundreds of wall paintings of mainly Upper Paleolithic period.

Uranium-series disequilibrium dating was executed this year by the team organized by Prof. Alistair Pike of University of Bristol, UK for calcite deposits overlying art found in 11 caves in Northern Spain and the results demonstrated that some paintings of El Castillo extended back at least to the Early Aurignacian period, with minimum ages of 40.8 thousand years for a red disk, 37.3 thousand years for a negative hand.
If this dating is correct, the red disk becomes about 4.000 years earlier than the paintings of Grotte Chauvet that has been said to be the world's oldest, and not only that, it can not be ruled out that the earliest paintings were created by Neanderthals, which were estimated to present in the Cantabrian regions until at least 42,000 to 36,000 years B.P..

Takeo Fukazawa/Texnai, Tokyo., Aug 10., 1012

Texnai DigitalArchives: texnai@texnai.co.jp ; http://www.texnai.co.jp/
Muse Digital Archives Frontier: http://www.muse.or.jp/

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