The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




Spanish archaeologists discover cave art to rival country's best

Paleolithic-era drawings found in Axturra cave are in ‘Champions League’ of cave art sites, team leader says

Spanish archaeologists say they have discovered an exceptional set of Paleolithic-era cave drawings that could rank among the best in a country that already boasts some of the world’s most important cave art.

Chief site archaeologist Diego Garate said that an estimated 70 drawings were found on ledges 300m (1,000 ft) underground in the Atxurra cave in the northern Basque region. He described the site as being in “the Champions League” of cave art and among the top 10 sites in Europe. The engravings and paintings feature horses, buffalo, goats and deer, dating back 12,500-14,500 years.

ryaner Posted by ryaner
31st May 2017ce

Comments (4)

Why were caves so beautifully decorated with painting of goats, deer etc 14500 years ago and yet all the UK based stone art we have from the much closer Neolithic period is circles, cup marks and squiggles, as awe inspiring as they are why no animals, people or boats? Why were everyday scenes not captured in stone as in other cultures? At the same time they were making intricate jewellery and decorated pottery so assume skill was never the issue. I understand that everything was passed down verbally from generation to generation, however, would still expect major events to have been captured in stone. I have seen occasional examples of axes and swords, not always sure about when they were carved, however, in general no animals, plants or people Posted by costaexpress
2nd June 2017ce
This, while it doesn't answer your questions, is very informative and thought-provoking, as is his follow-up, Inside the Neolithic Mind. ryaner Posted by ryaner
2nd June 2017ce
I've seen some animals in UK RA. I've seen some human figures in UK RA. I've seen some motifs which look very like flowers.
Our caves are too damp and manky to preserve any of the fine ochre and charcoal "drawings" and "cave paintings" so beautifully preserved in the still, dry caves of our Meditteranean neighbours.
The carvings we do have in caves (I have seen Fish and Deer) tend to have a few thousand years of slime and mineral accretion on them. Not always easy to discern.
I also think that with so much of the UK RA being out in the open air, rather than in caves it might be an indication that it was made for different reasons/ uses or under different circumstances.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
2nd June 2017ce
I have not really spent a lot of time studying rock art, however, a couple of years ago while tramping around North of the Arctic Circle I visited this site in Alta, Norway and it immediately got me thinking, either they are miles out with their dating or we were missing out in the UK not recording our scenes of everyday life.
Thanks for the book reference by the way, wish there was more time in the day to study these things.
Posted by costaexpress
3rd June 2017ce
You must be logged in to add a comment