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Highest-altitude prehistoric cave art found in Pyrénées
22 March 2019 @ 20:33

PREHISTORIC cave art has been found at the highest-known altitude in Spain so far – at 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) above sea-level.

Also the northernmost cave drawings ever discovered in the country, they were unearthed inside two niches in the mountains of the Góriz Valley – part of the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park in the province of Huesca, Aragón, in the Spanish Pyrénées.

Co-director of the archaeological project, Javier Rey, says the coloured carvings date back to the Neolithic era, meaning they are about 7,000 years old.

They would have been created between the years 4,000 and 5,000 BC.

Rey says the drawings are in keeping with what is known as ‘schematic Iberian art’, which typically features very simple symbols depicting typical scenes from the authors’ life and economic activity.

In these, the human figure and animals are the main subjects, and are shown in hunting and livestock-herding scenes.

According to the details of the paintings studied by the archaeological team – which includes members of the High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and Barcelona Autonomous University (UAB) – the original artists were probably shepherds who were in the cave area in summer when they could take advantage of the lush grass for grazing.

Given the altitude, permanent year-round settlements in Pyrénéen caves would have been impossible, as it was too cold and the grass was too sparse for animals to feed off.



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