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New excavations find a succession of ancient cultures visiting the cave for art and burial — ScienceDaily

A cave in southern Spain was utilized by ancient people as a canvas for paintings and as a burial place for over 50,000 years, based on a research revealed June 1, 2022 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by José Ramos-Muñoz of the University of Cadiz, Spain, and colleagues.

Cueva de Ardales, a cave in Málaga, Spain, is legendary for containing over 1,000 work and engravings made by prehistoric folks, in addition to artifacts and human stays. However, the nature of human utilization of this cave has not been well-understood. In this research, the authors current the outcomes of the first excavations on this cave, which make clear the historical past of human tradition in the Iberian Peninsula.

A mixture of radiometric relationship and evaluation of stays and artifacts inside the cave present proof that the web site’s first occupants have been probably Neanderthals over 65,000 years in the past. Modern people arrived later, round 35,000 years in the past, and used the cave sporadically till as lately as the starting of the Copper Age. The oldest rock art in the cave consists of summary indicators reminiscent of dots, finger suggestions, and hand-stencils created with purple pigment, whereas later paintings depicts figurative work reminiscent of animals. Human stays point out the use of the cave as a burial place in the Holocene, however proof of home actions is extraordinarily poor, suggesting people weren’t residing in the cave.

These outcomes verify the significance of Cueva de Ardales as a web site of excessive symbolic worth. This web site offers an unbelievable historical past of human exercise in Spain, and together with related websites — there are greater than 30 different caves in the area with related work — makes the Iberian Peninsula a key locality for investigating the deep historical past of European tradition.

The authors add: “Our analysis presents a well-stratified collection of greater than 50 radiometric dates in Cueva de Ardales that verify the antiquity of Palaeolithic art from over 58,000 years in the past. It additionally confirms that the cave was a place of particular actions linked to art, as quite a few fragments of ochre have been found in the Middle Palaeolithic ranges.”

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