They find the oldest rock carvings, they were hidden in a cave for 57,000 years

Scientists have recently discovered the oldest Neanderthal rock carvings known to date.

Intricate patterns, deliberately created by Neanderthals, have been hidden in a French cave for tens of thousands of years, challenging the prevailing notion of Neanderthals as simple beings and brutal creatures.

This rock art gallery consists of fingerprints, found on a 13 meter long wall of the cave of La Roche-Cotard, Located in the Loire Valley, France.

non-figurative marks, dating back over 57,000 years opening new doors to understanding the cognitive abilities and cultural richness of Neanderthals.

Although recent research has revealed a lot about the cultural complexity of Neanderthals. Relatively little is known about its symbolic or artistic expression.

Reconstruction of a Neanderthal with his son.

“The tracks form an organized and deliberate composition” as “the result of a thought process that gives rise to conscious design and intention,” the scientists explain.

The investigation

To study the engravings and be able to distinguish them from the marks left by the animals, researchers from the University of Tours (France) modeled the cave and the traces by photogrammetry.

Experts meticulously analyzed, graphed and created 3D models of these intriguing markings, comparing them to other wall markings of different types. Their findings confirm that these arching features and curvy lines are not random scratches, but rather the intentional product of human hands.

Rock engravings found in a cave in France. Credit: EFE.

Additionally, they dated the cave using the luminescence method, with optical stimulation, revealing that it was sealed by sediment over 57,000 years ago, long before Homo sapiens set foot in it. this part of Europe, until it entered. 1846 when operating a quarry.

You might also be interested in: They find human footprints from 300,000 years ago in an ancient lake.

This discovery could add to the growing body of evidence that Neanderthal behavior and activities were as complex and diverse as those of our ancestors, Homo sapiens.

Prior to this discovery, oldest rock carvings attributed to Neanderthals these were abstract hatch patterns found in Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar, dating back 39,000 years.

The discovery was published in PLOS ONE.

References: Science Alert.

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