A Spanish cave houses 24,000-year-old art!

Photo credit: Partially flooded chamber containing most of the subjects. Photo credit: A Ruiz-Redondo/V Barciela/X Mart.

Imagine walking through a cave and suddenly discovering a wall full of old paintings! Well, that’s exactly what happened in Spain.

Scientists found a 500-meter-long cave full of ancient art that is at least 24,000 years old. The cave is called “Cova Dones” or “Cueva Dones” and is located near Valencia in Spain.

Local residents and hiking enthusiasts have known this cave for a long time.

But no one noticed that there were old paintings hanging on the walls until a team of researchers found them in June 2021.

These experts came from universities in Zaragoza and Alicante in Spain and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom

Dr. Aitor Ruiz-Redondo, one of the lead researchers, said they were excited to discover the first painting of an aurochs, a type of extinct wild bull. This was a big deal because most of the ancient cave art in Spain is in the northern part of the country.

This cave is located in eastern Spain, where not many such sites have been found.

Dr. Ruiz-Redondo said they were really surprised at how important this cave was. It is as important as other significant cave art sites in various parts of Spain and southern France.

So far, the research team has documented more than 100 different designs or “motifs.”

This makes Cova Dones the most important place of its kind on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. In fact, no other cave in Europe has been found with so many ancient patterns since 2015!

What’s really cool is that most of the paintings feature animals like deer, horses and the extinct aurochs.

But what’s special about this cave is that most of these paintings were made from clay and not paint.

The artists covered their fingers and palms in clay and then drew on the walls. The humidity in the cave helped the clay dry slowly, and layers of another mineral called calcite helped preserve these works of art for thousands of years.

This way of using clay for painting is rare in ancient art. But in Cueva Dones it is the main style that is super interesting!

Scientists are excited, but say they’ve only just begun their exploration. There are still many areas of the cave that they haven’t visited yet, so they may find even more art in the future.

So what’s the big deal? Well, these pictures are like a time machine. They give us a glimpse into the lives and creativity of people who lived thousands of years ago.

Finding such a site helps us learn more about human history and reminds us that art has been a part of our lives for a very, very long time. Isn’t it amazing that people so long ago created art that we can still enjoy today?

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Source: University of Southampton.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: LauraCoffey@worldtimetodays.com.

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