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Oldest cave paintings ever discovered? Experts now think so.

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In “Spanish cave paintings shown as oldest in world” (Associated Press, Jun 14, 2012), Seth Borenstein reports,

New tests show that crude Spanish cave paintings of a red sphere and handprints are the oldest in the world, so ancient they may not have been by modern man.

Some scientists say they might have even been made by the much-maligned Neanderthals, but others disagree.

Testing the coating of paintings in 11 Spanish caves, researchers found that one is at least 40,800 years old, which is at least 15,000 years older than previously thought. That makes them older than the more famous French cave paintings by thousands of years.

Handprints … think of the literary possibilities. Was that how people signed an important pact in those days? Nonaggression? Exchange of territory? Statement of belief?

It’s interesting that the Neanderthals are now described as “much maligned,” whereas maligning them – Michael Shermer-style – was the old normal.

See also Neanderthal artwork found: “Academic bombshell” obliterates “lesser human” theory?

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Why are we talking about "humans"? Those paintings are a combination of casual natural forces acting in the cave! Are you guys saying that with no precise dating or explanations of this lumps of natural colorant therefore GOD DID IT??? :D Jonin

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