Nerja Caves: the oldest Cave Art in Europe, 42,000 years old

Rock Art of the Nerja Caves (ES) is 42,000 years old

Rock Art of the Nerja Caves (ES) is 42,000 years old

The title of one of my previous blogs was “Chauvet Cave, the oldest known cave art in Europe“. This title has to be changed. A fortnight ago (feb. 11, 2012)  professor Jose Luis Sanchidrian (University of Corboba) announced that six cave paintings had been found in the Nerja Caves 35 km from Malaga (Andalusia, Spain). Datings done on organic deposits beside the paintings gave an age between 43,500 and 42,300 years. In 2013 results of datings of the paintings themselves should be published.

The pictured animals resemble seals but bear stripes. An observer thought they might represent a kind of fish species.
The most important of this find is that it is 10,000 years older than the rock paintings of the Chauvet Cave (F). Chauvet with an age up to 32,500 years seems suddenly much younger and Lascaux, up to 17,000 years old, suddenly seems young, some 25,000 years younger than the finds in the Nerja Caves.
This find could be very important for another reason.
Painted by neanderthalensis or by sapiens?
So far it was assumed that Neanderthals lived South of the Ebro at least 28,000 years ago or more recent. They made stone tools that technically belonged to the mousterian which corresponded with what Neanderthals produced until the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe.
Recently it was argued by some researchers that Homo sapiens arrived in Europe much earlier than was accepted until recently. They suppose modern man arrived around 40,000 years ago. To be followed.
Professor Sanchidrian thinks the paintings were made by neanderthals. If we are naughty, we would ask whether Homo sapiens took over rock paintings from … Neanderthals. To be followed.
It is remarkable that these paintings represent animals just as the paintings of the much younger caves in France and Spain which were undoubtedly made by Homo sapiens. Was totemism a part of neanderthal culture?
Source: La prima obra de arte de la humanidad, ¿hecha por neandertales? http://www.abc.es/20120207/cultura-arte/abci-primera-obra-arte-humanidad-201202071253.html
If you are interested in art you might like these blogs:
Art in Olduvai 1,74 Million Years BP, Baboonhead Rather unknown, undeserved, the oldest known art in the world
The Origin of Aesthetic Feeling and Art Fundamental: How our aesthetic feeling originated in reproduction of man, a darwinian explanation.
The oldest statuettes adapted by man are between 233,000 and 800,000 years old
“Lion Man”, the oldest statuette with a combination man-animal ‘Der Löwenmensch” was found in Germany.
The oldest Love Statuette in the World They keep on loving for ever in the British Luseeum.
A virtual visit to the Lascaux Cave is mind blowing!
Nerja Caves: the oldest Cave Art in Europe, 42,000 years old Rock paintings , probably made by neanderthals
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Valentine’s day. Romeo and Juliet in Italy, 6000 years ago.

The Lovers of Valdaro in their eternal embrace

The Lovers of Valdaro in their eternal embrace

In 2007 archaeologists found two skeletons in the village Valdaro, not far from Mantua in northern Italy. Special about this find was that the faces were directed towards each other and that the deceased held each other in a warm embrace.

Normally, at every other excavation, the bones would have been taken apart to investigate them. Here however this would have broken the unique entanglement. The researchers therefore decided to lift the block in which the lovers were found in its entirety.

The analysis of the bones confirmed the suspicions: the skeletons were those of a young man and a young woman who were between 18 and 20 years old and approximately 1.57 m large. They are known as the lovers of Valdaro. There is in contrast with the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare no indication that they would have died a violent death.

One has to guess why the lovers died. A deadly contagious disease is a possibility. Their relatives must have been deeply moved by their tragic death. We may assume that they, like all people until recently, believed in life after death. This is probably the reason why they were buried them in an intense entanglement, an eternal embrace. Their love was probably brief but intense during their lifetime. As a symbol, they may become known worldwide.

It learns us that true love existed 6,000 years ago as well as it does today.

A tragic fact of life took the life of the lovers of Valdaro but their deep entanglement testifies today that love can be forever.

Marc.Vermeersch@gmail.com

A Committee was founded that wishes to exhibit the Valdaro Lovers permanently .
For the moment nothing much can be seen at their site, http://www.amantiamantova.it/, but we hope they succeed. Mantua is situated near Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet.

Photos about the excavations and the removal of the skeletons are at: http://gazzettadimantova.gelocal.it/foto-e-video/2007/02/28/fotogalleria/gli-amanti-di-valdaro-2-1.253701