U-Series Dating of Paleolithic Art in 11 Caves in Spain
- Permanent Link:
- U-Series Dating of Paleolithic Art in 11 Caves in Spain
- Series Title:
- Pike, A. W. G.
Hoffmann, D. L.
Pettitt, P. B.
De Balbín, R.
de las Heras, C.
Lasheras, J. A.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Publication Date:
- serial ( sobekcm )
- Paleolithic cave art is an exceptional archive of early human symbolic behavior, but because obtaining reliable dates has been difficult, its chronology is still poorly understood after more than a century of study. We present uranium-series disequilibrium dates of calcite deposits overlying or underlying art found in 11 caves, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites of Altamira, El Castillo, and Tito Bustillo, Spain. The results demonstrate that the tradition of decorating caves extends back at least to the Early Aurignacian period, with minimum ages of 40.8 thousand years for a red disk, 37.3 thousand years for a hand stencil, and 35.6 thousand years for a claviform-like symbol. These minimum ages reveal either that cave art was a part of the cultural repertoire of the first anatomically modern humans in Europe or that perhaps Neandertals also engaged in painting caves.
- Original Version:
- Science, Vol. 336, no. 6087 (2012-07-15).
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida Library
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida
- Rights Management:
- This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
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