View Full Version : Iberian Neanderthals, the first world painters?

Comte Arnau
02-07-2012, 01:41 PM
(Warning: Google translation from Spanish)

Six paintings of the Cueva de Nerja (Málaga) representing seals may have a length of at least 42,000 years, which would put them as the first masterpiece of humanity, which also would not have been done by sapiens, but Neanderthals, according to several experts.


Professor at the University of Cordoba José Luis Sanchidrián, who heads a multidisciplinary project of conservation of this cave, explained on Tuesday that dating over 42,000 years of organic remains found near the existing paintings in the upper gallery indicates that these elements could be the oldest artistic representation of the world.

But what would be even more revolutionary is that all current scientific data suggest that these paintings were carried out by Homo neanderthalensis, "which is an academic bombshell," as Sanchidrián, because so far everything about the meaning aesthetic was attributed to Homo Sapiens Sapiens.


Following the analysis of sediments from the cave, dating sent to Miami (United States) remaining coals appeared to ten centimeters of the paintings, some tests have yielded an age of 43,500 and 42,300 years.

These coals would be related to the illumination of the paintings or to perform or to see them, which would mean that may be even older, "and that date due to Neanderthals, so it gives us a great expectation."

"The coals are next to the seals, that are unmatched in Paleolithic art, and we know that Neanderthals ate seals," he explained Sanchidrián, who insisted on the need to date a little veil or film formed on paints know their exact date.

However, this operation is currently paralyzed by the lack of economic resources and the absence of a manager in charge of the Cave of Nerja Foundation.

For the curator of the cave and multidisciplinary project coordinator, Antonio Garrido, was crucial attempt to date the existing organic waste with the paintings, and match the dates "would open many questions."

Also on the table the possibility that the paintings were the work of sapiens, but Sanchidrián, that is "more hypothetical" because there is no evidence that our species broke into the Iberian Peninsula from south to north, "nor there are similar samples of art in North Africa. "

"The latest discoveries in our territory are on the line of a Neanderthal who decorated the body with paint and had an aesthetic sense, and that means a scientific revolution because until now, we sapiens attributed all achievements and have passed a image of them almost monkeys, "argued the curator of the cave.

It is possible to be at the first masterpiece of humanity and also it is not made by sapiens, and that would be a "radical" because so far, the Art History says that "art is inseparable to us, the sapiens, because we think we are, "he added.

Meanwhile, Garrido is also possible that Neanderthals from practicing painting, as recent studies show that could be genetically and physiologically prepared for it.

Depending on the remains studied, it appears that they were willing to talk, and if they had a language, which is the maximum that is in the abstract, and had burial rituals and beliefs, the type of leave, "it is normal that represented or abstraction of reality, "he added.

The conservator has indicated that in the Cave of Nerja already found Neanderthal parts industry, and considering that the cavity is still a potential for seven meter excavation and retaining good human remains, "it is not unreasonable that find skeletal remains of that period, "referred to.

The researchers believe that this cave, one of the last parts of southern Europe where Neanderthals took refuge, hiding the key to the disappearance of this species.