Neanderthals Were the First Great Artists of Europe

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neanderthal cave art

No longer the matter of conjecture, it is now abundantly clear that art was originated by Neanderthals some 64,000 years ago, research has actually found.

Shocking recent evidence from three locations in Spain suggest that several of the earliest rock wall paintings have mistakenly been credited to modern humans.

Rather they were quite likely the job of our bygone counterpart species, the Neanderthals – until only recently considered unthinking erect bipeds with more in common with apes than modern man.

Researchers now know that the Neanderthals were no orangutans. They quite possibly used a fairly developed language, utilized simple rock and bone tools, employed jewelry and more functional apparel, and may have participated in religious practice.

The current discoveries released in the journal Science show that Neanderthals are proving to be much more sophisticated than originally thought.

The cave paintings, made with black and red pigments, contain groups of animals, dots and also abstract geometric layouts, as well as traced hand prints.

They inhabit 3 locations at La Pasiega, Maltravieso as well as Ardales– positioned as far as 500 miles apart in various regions of Spain.

An advanced technique was utilized to finally date these paintings a lot more precisely compared to any previous method used in the past.

The data reckoned the age of the artwork at 64,000 years or more – long before the arrival of the initial “modern-day” human beings in western Europe. The only “folks” kicking around in that area of the globe at the time were Neanderthals.

Archaeologist and also joint lead researcher Dr Chris Standish, from the University of Southampton, claimed:

“This is an incredibly exciting discovery which suggests Neanderthals were much more sophisticated than is popularly believed. Our results show that the paintings we dated are, by far, the oldest known cave art in the world, and were created at least 20,000 years before modern humans arrived in Europe from Africa – therefore they must have been painted by Neanderthals.”

The cutting-edge dating method involved took samples of ultra-thin carbonate deposits built up over time which contain the “mother and daughter” radioactive elements thorium and uranium.

Gauging the approximate levels of the 2 aspects shows how much time it has actually taken for one to degenerate into the other. The strategy is much more reputable than standard radiocarbon dating, which could give incorrect age readings.

This is an extremely amazing epiphany which suggests Neanderthals were far more innovative than is popularly believed.

60 carbonate samples from the various paintings were sampled and tested by the scientists.

Co-author Professor Alistair Pike, likewise from the University of Southampton, stated:

“Soon after the discovery of the first of their fossils in the 19th century, Neanderthals were portrayed as brutish and uncultured, incapable of art and symbolic behavior, and some of these views persist today.  “The issue of just how human-like Neanderthals behaved is a hotly debated issue. Our findings will make a significant contribution to that debate.”

Neanderthals co-existed with modern humans for thousands of years in Europe and also Asia and the 2 type of human are believed to have actually interbred.

They came to be extinct around 38,000 years ago for reasons that are still unclear. Two of the leading theories assert a failure to adapt to changing climates as well as competition for natural resources and food from our ancestors. Or potentially they might just have actually been “absorbed” right into the growing modern human population.

There’s been an astonishing amount of Neanderthal news in the last few years forcing us to constantly reevaluate long-held (erroneous) beliefs about this long ago species.  It was recently revealed that Neanderthals had two other major traits in common with modern humans: deferential treatment of the dead, and ritualistic religious.  Let’s not be so quick to dismiss these ancient denizens as another form of ape.  The truth is they may very well be part of our family tree.

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