Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria)

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria)
Series Title:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Creator:
García-Diez, M.
Hoffmann, D. L.
Zilhão, J.
Heras, C. de las
Lasheras, J. A.
Montes, R.
Pike, A. W. G.
Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Uranium-thorium dating ( lcsh )
Aurignacian culture ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
Location:
Europe -- Spain

Notes

Abstract:
The rock art in Altamira Cave was the first ensemble of Palaeolithic parietal art to be identified scientifically (Sautuola, 1880). Due to the great thematic, technical and stylistic variety of the art in the cave, which constitutes one of the most complete Palaeolithic art ensembles, Altamira was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985. Uranium-series dating has recently been applied to figures on the decorated ceiling in the cave. Several motifs are partly covered by thin layers of calcite precipitates, whose formation process is datable by this method. The results provide the date when the calcite formed, which gives a minimum age for the underlying depictions. These results confirm that the parietal art at Altamira was produced during a prolonged period of time, at least 20,000 years (between 35,000 and 15,200 years ago), and that part of the ensemble corresponds to the Aurignacian period.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-05357 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.5357 ( USFLDC Handle )

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