September 16, 2013

Aurignacian rock art from Altxerri B cave

Journal of Human Evolution doi:0.1016/j.jhevol.2013.08.001

Not only Chauvet: Dating Aurignacian rock art in Altxerri B Cave (northern Spain)

C. González-Sainz et al.

The discovery and first dates of the paintings in Grotte Chauvet provoked a new debate on the origin and characteristics of the first figurative Palaeolithic art. Since then, other art ensembles in France and Italy (Aldène, Fumane, Arcy-sur-Cure and Castanet) have enlarged our knowledge of graphic activity in the early Upper Palaeolithic. This paper presents a chronological assessment of the Palaeolithic parietal ensemble in Altxerri B (northern Spain). When the study began in 2011, one of our main objectives was to determine the age of this pictorial phase in the cave. Archaeological, geological and stylistic evidence, together with radiometric dates, suggest an Aurignacian chronology for this art. The ensemble in Altxerri B can therefore be added to the small but growing number of sites dated in this period, corroborating the hypothesis of more complex and varied figurative art than had been supposed in the early Upper Palaeolithic.

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6 comments:

Michael Boblett said...

For those who don't have time to follow the link, Abxerri B comes in at 34,195 <> 1235. Not surprising given the sophistication at Chauvet.

Michael Boblett said...

There's a nice chart with comparisons of dates in Early Upper P parietal art.

barakobama said...

"new debate on the origin and characteristics of the first figurative Palaeolithic art"

This is not the first Paleolithic figurative art. Neither is any we have found there just the oldest we have found people have always done this. It is crazy how accrute 42,000 year old half man half lion statue in south Germany is. They were Human and look at stone age people today they can do some pretty amzing stuff so could humans 200,000ybp.

eurologist said...

That "bear" in #2, Fig 5 definitely looks like a wild boar, instead. And #1 looks more like a hyena or wolf.

Palaeo Lithic said...

The "bear" has not many choices to be a "wild boar" as there are no evident exemples of that species in whole Paleolithic Rock Art. Instead of that, there are some exemples of bears with that general shape (not only these that are exposed in the paper). The case of the feline is similar, we know some examples of spotted felins from Early Upper Palaeolithic. We have discarted the posibility of hyena because the back line is so straight and the few examples from that animal in Palaeolithic Rock Art have a very pronunciated curvature. Finally, the posibility of wolf has really no sense for the shape of that figure...

Palaeo Lithic said...

The stratigraphic level for the lion-man statue from Hohlenstein-Stadel has three C14-AMS determination 31,750<>1150 ; 32,000<> 550 and 32,270<>270. They are a little far away from 42,000...