2018-02-22 22:57:44 UTC
before modern humans arrived in Europe, making the probable artists
Cueva de los Aviones (southeast Spain) is a site of the
Neandertal-associated Middle Paleolithic of Europe. It has yielded
ochred and perforated marine shells, red and yellow colorants, and shell
containers that feature residues of complex pigmentatious mixtures.
Similar finds from the Middle Stone Age of South Africa have been widely
accepted as archaeological proxies for symbolic behavior. U-series
dating of the flowstone capping the Cueva de los Aviones deposit shows
that the symbolic finds made therein are 115,000 to 120,000 years old
and predate the earliest known comparable evidence associated with
modern humans by 20,000 to 40,000 years. Given our findings, it is
possible that the roots of symbolic material culture may be found among
the common ancestor of Neandertals and modern humans, more than
half-a-million years ago."