Thursday, January 30, 2020

Neanderthals Made Art, Scientists Say


Scientists believe that the cave paintings in Spain were made before modern humans arrived, suggesting that they were capable of making art and thinking in symbols.

Uranium-thorium dating suggests Neanderthals were in Europe 65,000 years ago, while Homo sapiens didn't arrive until about 45,000 years ago.

"This suggests that the Palaeolithic artwork must have been made by Neanderthals, a "sister" species to Homo sapiens, and Europe's sole human inhabitants at the time. But, so far, the researchers have found only abstract expressions of art by Neanderthals."

Examples of art-making go back as much as 70,000 years ago, but they can't be associated with any particular human ancestor.

Read more: BBC Neanderthals were capable of making art


Roberto Quintana said...

WoW! This is Really cool!
In the article they say that it’s all abstract, no human or animal figures, but they depicted their own hands! I’d call that at least ‘animal’?
I really have a hard time making these things out, it’s really hard to see much of anything. But I’m pretty sure, if I stare very closely, I think I can just see the faint impression of a little girl holding a heart-shaped balloon. -RQ

Ken Raney said...

Drake Gomez said...

Interesting, indeed. However, I'm often struck by how the determination of what creatures made art is almost always limited to the creation of paintings and sculpture. What about ephemeral art, such as body painting, piercing, or the like? Of course, there isn't evidence of such things, so it can't be dated or even proven. But it seems that some kind of body art (even just temporary markings of ash or mud) would be just as likely as cave art. I think the historian Daniel Boorstin wrote that the first artist was someone who smeared mud on his face and gazed on his reflection in the water.