Oldest confirmed cave art: 40,800 years ago

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posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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Using a new dating method based on the radioactive decay of naturally occurring elements, archeologists have dated some of oldest paintings ever discovered in Spain's El Castillo cave.

The new technique takes minute measurements of material and avoids contamination which can occur with carbon dating:


the calcite deposits are scraped away, using a knife or a drill, until the pigment just begins to appear beneath it. "That does two things," Pike explained. "It means we stop before we damage the painting, and secondly it proves to us and our audience that these things are directly above the art itself."

The scientists can thus be confident that the age they get will be the minimum age for the artwork.


This is what the cave art looks like:



The art in El Castillo covers a time period from 22,600 years ago to 40,800 years ago. This area may have been used by "artists" for tens of thousands of years, with each generation adding new art.

The earlest drawing is the bison:



The hand stencils have been dated to at least 37,300 years ago while the red disks date back to 40,800 years ago.



Some archeologists are wondering if Neanderthals drew the earliest art, but modern humans were already in Spain by this time.

Personally I find this art captivating and wonderful. To see how we lived in ancient times and to get an inkling of what we were thinking about.

Does it matter to you if they were drawn by Neanderthals, us, or both?

cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com...




posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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in a previous lifetime i was an apprentice to a shaman, did some cave art because i had a natural gift of 'seeing' in the dark cave lack of light emvironment



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by St Udio
 


Well we did have fire and torches then


Some cave art seems to have been drawn with fire in mind:



With a flickering flame, the horses above might actually appear to move, kind of like the first motion picture!



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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Wow.. Words cannot describe my desire to be in that exact place. The thing about these sort of discoveries that always resonates deep within my being is the fact that another intelligent being stood right there 40,000 years ago. You can place your hand over those etchings, and know that a being once had their hand there in that exact same place that long ago. It almost takes you back to that moment. While none of us really know exactly what that moment was like, it can at least give us that feeling. It is a direct link to our ancestors and past. It is almost as if you can connect with those who left this "art". The age of this artifact is just incredible, and to be there and feel that connection would be unreal.

Very cool. This sort of thing speaks to me on a whole different level.



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by St Udio
in a previous lifetime i was an apprentice to a shaman, did some cave art because i had a natural gift of 'seeing' in the dark cave lack of light emvironment


i used to drive a jeep in one



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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It is sad to think that we may leave nothing behind that our predecessors will find like this. This sort of mark is the kind that spans lifetimes. Something this simple can change the lives and perceptions of the people who experience them for thousands of years. While these aren't the pyramids.. They are equally if not more awe inspiring if not simply for their intimate nature.



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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yet the art and the hand prints creat a bridge between us and them..


Creighton Miller contends that the ancient art shows astrological horoscope figures that with the world wide henges and the working celtic cross actually made long range sea travel and fancy temple construction possible back in those distant ages...like from 10,500 bc and backwards from there.



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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40,800 ya is a very interesting number. It points that we at least had artistic talent, being hunter gatherers at the time.

I'm thinking about doing a thread on all the ancient historical anomalies. Thanks for the thread!



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by Druid42
40,800 ya is a very interesting number. It points that we at least had artistic talent, being hunter gatherers at the time.

I'm thinking about doing a thread on all the ancient historical anomalies. Thanks for the thread!


Good luck with your project, sounds interesting. You should be aware that the use of pigments by humans goes back much further. For example:


Evidence of early humans living on the coast in South Africa, harvesting food from the sea, employing complex bladelet tools and using red pigments in symbolic behavior 164,000 years ago


www.sciencedaily.com...

This article is one example and was published in 2007, so the dates may go back even further.

As to why there is no ancient cave art in Africa, one archeologist wrote it was because of the geology.



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 12:41 PM
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Excellent post! Truly amazing and equally fascinating pictures.

Good luck when the God Squad arrive though, they will swear blind it can only be 5000 years old
edit on 15-6-2012 by OpenEars123 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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I hope the Neanderthals did it. That would put paid once and for all the misguided idea that they were dumb, barbaric cavemen.





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