cave paintings

10 Stories

Oldest Figurative Painting Depicts Wild Cow

Recent research shows artwork to be at least 40,000 years old

(Newser) - A wild cow that wandered what is now Indonesian Borneo tens of thousands of years ago is the subject of what is believed to the the oldest figurative painting ever found. The image was discovered in the 1990s in a network of limestone caves on the eastern edge of the... More »

Cave Paintings Change Story of Ancient Art

Indonesian art goes back at least 39K years

(Newser) - A closer look at cave paintings in Indonesia may redraw the map of prehistoric art and show us that the world's first artists were in Africa, National Geographic reports. An article in Nature says that cave paintings on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, once considered up to 12,000... More »

Mysterious Stone Spheres to Be Protected

They join more than 1K sites now on UN list of World Heritage sites

(Newser) - The planet now has more than 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage Sites : places "of outstanding value to humanity" that UNESCO helps to safeguard and preserve. The World Heritage Committee wrapped up its 38th session on Wednesday by adding 26 sites to its list and expanding four more; that list... More »

Most Ancient Cave Artists Were Probably Women

Researcher studies stenciled hands, thinks they're female

(Newser) - A Penn State archeologist has floated an intriguing theory about ancient cave art: He thinks most of the artists were women. If true, it would upend long-held notions about cave paintings given that they often depict hunts and animals, and have been traditionally ascribed to ancient men, reports National Geographic... More »

Cavemen Artists Were High When Painting

Universal patterns explained by hallucinogenic drugs, says study

(Newser) - Trippy patterns and funky shapes can be found in ancient cave art from different parts of the world. How to explain it? Try magic mushrooms. Japanese researchers who analyzed drawings going back 40,000 years think prehistoric artists were high on hallucinogenic drugs, reports Live Science . The drugs brought on... More »

Cave Art Dates Back to Neanderthals

Earliest work more than 40K years old

(Newser) - Our ancestors were artists far earlier than experts had believed, new dating techniques reveal. Paintings in El Castillo cave in northwestern Spain are at least 40,800 years old—the oldest ever found, and ancient enough that Neanderthals could have painted them. That would come as a surprise, since experts... More »

Stone-Age Artists: The 1st Animators

Chauvet cave paintings tell stories, simulate movement

(Newser) - A Stone-Age Walt Disney? That's what two French researchers see in 30,000-year-old paintings that adorn caves like Chauvet and La Baume Latrone, Science News reports. Long cave paintings depict full stories, they say, and rotating bone disks found at the sites can be twirled to animate images of... More »

First-Ever Neanderthal Paintings Discovered

Nerja caves in Spain contain art that pre-dates Homo sapiens

(Newser) - Cave paintings in Spain may be the oldest ever found and the first known by Neanderthal artists, New Scientist reports. Oddly resembling a DNA double helix, the paintings actually depict seals—which locals in Malaga, Spain, would have eaten at the time. Charcoal remains near the paintings, in Spain's... More »

Prehistoric Kids Went to Art Class

Cave art suggests adults taught children to be creative

(Newser) - Looks like art class may date back 13,000 years: Back then, research suggests, kids were getting help from adults as they decorated cave walls. Analysis of cave art in France reveals which works were created by kids, and the findings even indicate the artists’ likely ages and genders, the... More »

Mold Threatens Cave Paintings

Cave will be sealed for up to four months for treatment

(Newser) - They've existed for thousands of years but it's the lowly fungus that could finally be the death of France's most famous prehistoric cave paintings. Invading gray and black mold is threatening the animal images in the Lascaux cave in southwestern France, and scientists are uncertain what has caused it. The... More »

10 Stories