Caves of Nerja Contain Earliest Human Drawings

Caves Nerja Drawings

Caves Nerja Drawings. Credit: University of Córdoba

New dating tests have proven that drawings from the Caves of Nerja, in Málaga, Spain, are the oldest paintings in the world made by humans. The pictures apparently depict seals and were painted more than 42,000 years ago, making them the first known cave paintings created by Neanderthals.

Before this discovery, the drawings made about 32,000 years ago in the Chauvent-Pont-d’Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France, were considered the oldest. However, the new tests, dating the charcoal that was found next to the Nerja cave paintings, date them somewhere between 42,300 and 43,500 years old. The paintings themselves haven’t yet been tested since the team has been hampered by a lack of funding.

Caves Nerja Drawings

Credit: University of Córdoba

Project leader José Luis Sanchidrián, from the University of Córdoba, thinks that it could revolutionize the understanding of human history. Neanderthals decorated their bodies with paint and had an aesthetic sense, he states. Until now, it was thought that Homo sapiens sapiens created all of the art in caves. It’s now believed that Neanderthals created these drawings, something that’s quite shocking.

While this has yet to be confirmed, Sanchidrián thinks that since the drawings don’t display any parallelism which is indicative of human paleolithic art, and that Neanderthals ate seals, these drawings could have been drawn by them. Also, there are no remnants of humans in this part of the Iberian Peninsula.

Scientists think that this cave was one of the last in which Neanderthals sought refuge, escaping the encroachment of Cro-Magnons.

8 Comments on "Caves of Nerja Contain Earliest Human Drawings"

  1. Subject: Comment on Megalithic Portal-NERJA Caves Discoveries, February,14 2012

    Dear Editors of SciTechDaily,

    Today, being Valentines Day, it gives me great pleasure and happiness that I can convey my thoughts on discoveries of other humans, as well as, my personal discoveries which in part I have presented on Wikipedia,s – talk page: User:Liliumofpeace-Guinness book of records/coincidences and other numerous contacts.

    Being an Artist (script educated)and and a willpower of a giant, literally said, to learn about everything humanity has in its evolution. That being said I would be greatly thankful of your interest in my deeds and discoveries – all/or one by one in the near future. This Week Minister for Tourism and Leisure of the Republic of Maurituis is sending promised written response to my Project proposal to establish and add Third Dimension to the Mountain of Le Morne: Phenomenal Geological Discovery and designation of the Le Morne Mountain as a Religious Shrine, as My Discovery of 1984 and 2011 shoves 3 photographed human faces which I characterized as an old African faces and Grandfather of all Slaves and its Ancestors(possibly fourth) which are very much in line of real-coincidental nature. The Mountain Le Morne is the epicenter of Slave Trade Memorial to be – as one off many throughout the World recognized since immemorial time of human existence – and as such having potential based on the new discovery.

    Furthermore, on the factual history of the mountain as slave developed settlements and maroonage practice of escaping the slavery masters, UNESCO has adopted resolution of 2008 to designate the Le Morne, World Heritage Site and therefore a second dimension.

    Moreover, I am pleased to note that in my comment on the NERJA discovery on Megalithic Portal User: creatorPV I noted in part discoveries of Stoning sites and other archaeological findings which have a potential, once exploration commences, of becoming major part of yet undiscovered history.

    Recent discoveries of Pyramids in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which ( as my friend and colleague Samir Osmanagich discoverer claims) have changed the perception that one or few civilizations have built Pyramids. Contrary, his discoveries might prove that greater civilizations existed some 20-30 + thousands years ago, which leads us to hypothesis that perhaps neanderthals were there, and all might be investigated about/before great flood and its devastation that occurred. With this in mind, area around my discoveries just around my village, shows Iron Rings on the cliffs were ships were anchored some 170 meters above present sea level.

    Dear Editors, I congratulate you on presenting this Story and others, helping disseminate Human knowledge which is reflected Daily, and insight humans of the potential they possess!

    Yours in Peace

    Peter Vunic

    • This is a case where you NEED to update your translation software. What in the $&LL where you babbling about??

      • Peter to “confused” Says: Thanks for your “Powerful Reminder”
        I’ve taken measures since; When there is no Spell-Check, —follow own spelling and editing?

  2. Not to jump to conclusions on what that cave painting could really be of, but it looks somewhat like a double helix (Think DNA). If that were the intention of these ancient humans, then it could very well be a sign of interaction with a technologically advanced civilization. If not, then it’s most likely an abstract doodle of a spiritual mind.

  3. The caves are located in NERJA, Spain

  4. Madanagopal.V.C | November 3, 2013 at 1:39 am | Reply

    Hello! why do you think of the paintings looking like a DNA Helix ? Why do you attribute these 40000 years old humans to have studied Genetics? To me it looks like a fish and nothing more than that. Thank You.

  5. It might just be a drawing of double helix. Why would they want to draw seals on a vertical column?

  6. Interesting… There appear to be 12 horizontal lines across the body of the top “seal” and 11 across that of the bottom, in the given photo. Coincidence?

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