New Evidence Emerges that Neanderthals Made Art Between 38,500 and 30,500 Years Ago


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Figure 4 from the “A rock engraving made by Neanderthals in Gibraltar” report, published August 12, 2014 (screenshot via PNAS & Hyperallergic)

European researchers and archaeologists have published a paper regarding what they claim are “the first known example of an abstract pattern engraved by Neanderthals.”

The pattern, discovered at the southern tip of Spain in Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar and dating to between 38,500 and 30,500 years ago, could substantially expand our understanding of the genealogy of artistic expression, generally thought to have begun with the cave art of early Homo sapiens, not Neanderthals.

However, whether or not the Gorham’s Cave marks can be considered art “remains a point of contention” though researchers at the site say that the hard rock used indicates that the marks were made with intention.

Read more at Hyperallergic and the BBC.