Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/15/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Carbon dating shows that prehistoric paintings may have been work of much maligned forerunner of modern man

Neanderthals are generally regarded as being one or two steps removed from the ape. Brutish, and with heavy brows, the Neanderthal is an admitted low cousin on the chain that led to modern man. However - archaeologists in Spain, thanks to carbon dating have determined that many of the classic cave paintings noted for their grace and style are much older than previously believed - and the Neanderthals may have had their hands in it.

This hand stencil in Spain's El Castillo cave dates back at least 37,300 years, based on uranium-series testing, and could conceivably show a Neanderthal hand outline.

This hand stencil in Spain's El Castillo cave dates back at least 37,300 years, based on uranium-series testing, and could conceivably show a Neanderthal hand outline.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/15/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Cave paintings, archaeology, Neanderthals


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Archaeologists were surprised to discover that the paintings were thousands of years older than previously thought. "Neanderthals, of course, have had this bad press for a long time," Joao Zilhao, a member of the research team says. "But the research developments over the last decade have shown that this is probably not deserved."

The latest discovery is all part of an "ongoing program" to date hundreds of European cave paintings more accurately. University of Bristol's Alistair Pike, lead author of a paper published in the journal Science says that it's still too early to say conclusively whether Neanderthals were behind at least some of the artistry.

Pike says he is confident that the earliest paintings go back at least 40,800 years, which matches up with the earliest evidence of anatomically modern humans in Europe.

Zilhao says that based on carbon dating, it's also thousands of years earlier than the previously accepted maximum age.

"We were not expecting these results," Zilhao said. "When we put this project together, the idea was to improve the chronology of rock art, and particularly in the case of Spain."

"The basic findings are the sorts of things you could take to the bank," Penn State archaeologist Dean Snow, who wasn't part of the research team, says. Snow acknowledged that the latest findings produce "three or four new problems that we didn't have before."

"Now, with these older dates, we have to entertain the possibility that there might have been some Neanderthal involvement in some of these paintings," Snow said. "We've never really seriously considered that before."

Tests were conducted on 50 Paleolithic paintings in 11 Spanish caves, including the famous pictures of horses and human hands at the Altamira and El Castillo caves. The paintings had previously been dated using radiocarbon tests. Pike's team used a different technique that analyzed the proportions of uranium, thorium and related elements in the calcite deposits that formed above and below the paintings.

The scientists are confident that the age they get will be the minimum age for the artwork. In some cases, the scientists could sample flowstone deposits beneath the layer of paint to get a maximum age as well.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Green

Ancient salamander, thought to have roamed Earth 170 million years ago found by Chinese ranger Watch

Image of After keeping it in a temporary tank, Xiao released the creature back into the river, watched by a crowd of tourists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A park ranger in south China named only as "Mr. Xiao" has caught an enormous Chinese salamander. It is acknowledged as the world's largest living amphibian and is known as the "Living Fossil," as it has remained unchanged for 170 million years. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists discover annoying foam packing peanuts can now be used for something other than trash Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Foam peanuts that constantly clutter your room and fill up the trash, after a package arrives, could actually be useful. This new discovery, presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), was researched by a team from ... continue reading


Giant crocodile ruled the Earth long before dinosaurs Watch

Image of Carnufex, meaning

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A nine-foot-tall monster with blade-like teeth at one time strolled through the warm and wet environs of what is now known as North Carolina some 230 million years ago. The Carnufex carolinensis, as known by its scientific name, was active long before dinosaurs ... continue reading


Rapidly thinning Antarctic glacier 'appears unstoppable' Watch

Image of The Totten Glacier is larger and thinning faster than all the others in East Antarctica are.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Everyone is now aware about the rapidly melting polar icecaps. Scientists have raised concerns about a large, rapidly thinning glacier in Antarctica. Researchers have discovered two openings that could channel warm seawater to the base of the huge Totten ... continue reading


EXTREMELY SEVERE DROUGHT: California is not only up a creek without a paddle - it's loosing the creek as well Watch

Image of California has been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the East Coast was battered with rain, sleet and record snowfall, California faced the driest January on record, ever since records began to be taken in 1865. With snow packs in the mountains at all time lows, the state's drought has many people wonder if ... continue reading


SEA MONSTER: Massive 14-foot stingray declared world's largest caught fish Watch

Image of After getting the ray alongside, it was then taken into a specially prepared pen. It took seven people to lift the ray out of the water so it could be properly measured.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive, 14-feet stingray recently caught by two anglers has since broken the world's record for the largest freshwater fish caught by rod and line. The gigantic, flat fish bearing a poisonous barb measured over eight feet in width, 14 feet in length and ... continue reading


AMAZING DIVERSITY: 1,451 new marine species identified in our oceans in a single year Watch

Image of Biologists also identified two new species of dolphin last year. One was found near Papua New Guinea and the other in a Brazilian river. Sadly, both are already threatened by anglers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is nothing new under the sun... or is it? The finite capabilities of man would deduce that after centuries of science and exploration, humankind would know everything there is to know about the various life forms on this planet. Scientists have proven ... continue reading


Rare, 475-pound leatherback sea turtle washes up on South Carolina beach Watch

Image of Treatments appear to be helping. Aquarium officials said the turtle was more energetic earlier this week than when it was first admitted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A rare, 475-pound leatherback sea turtle washed up on a South Carolina beach this past weekend. Marine biologists at the South Carolina Aquarium are currently treating the turtle who they named "Yawkey." Discovered on the Yawkey-South Island Preserve, a ... continue reading


BUSTED! A-list Climate Change deniers go nuts in emails over documentary that exposes ties to fossil fuel industry Watch

Image of Despite the obvious signs, a number of scientists continue to insist that global warming isn't happening.

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

An A list of "climate change deniers" has been released, exposing the connections that climate change denial scientists have to the fossil fuel industry and other private firms that are literally paying them for their denial. The leaked emails stem from a documentary ... continue reading


Extinct bird remarkably reappears after 70 years gone Watch

Image of The team observed several babblers at different locations in the area for two days, according to an official release.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A small brown bird, the Jerdon's babbler was last seen in Myanmar in 1941. Presumed extinct, the babbler has made an unexpected comeback. Naturalists are boy busy resurrecting the bird from the list of animals thought to have vanished from the Earth. LOS ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 2:1-11
1 When Pentecost day came round, they had all met ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, Yahweh, my God, how great ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:19-23
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
3 Because of that, I want to make it quite clear to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2015 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotlandís virtuous queen, (Saint) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter