World’s Oldest Cave Painting in Spain

We, and those before us, have been making art longer than previously known. By about 15,000 years….

Recent tests made scientists conclude that the ‘Panel of Hands’ in a cave in El Castillo, Spain, is older than 40,800 years. This is more than 15,000 years older than was previously thought. With this finding, these ancient Spanish cave paintings of a red sphere and hand prints are the oldest-known cave art in Europe, and in the world.

cave painting oldest world
image credit: Pedro Saura, AP

Scientists are still debating who made the paintings: modern man (homo sapiens), or Neanderthals (a prior species). The cave painting was made at the time that modern man came from Africa to Europe (41,000 to 45,000 years ago). Neanderthals were in Europe from about 250,000 years ago until about 35,000 years ago.

oldest cave painting in the world
image credit: Pedro Saura, AP

Before the latest test, the oldest known cave paintings were the caves in Chauvet, France, which are between 32,000 and 37,000 years old.

Location of El Castillo’s ancient Cave Painting

most ancient cave painting El castillo

The El Castillo cave is near the village of Puente Viesgo, in the North of Spain. El Castillo is an Unesco World Heritage site.

To all other homeshooling moms and everyone else: this is something to add to the curriculum!

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