“Contrary to their dim-witted image Neanderthals have been found to have used tools, to have worn jewellery, and, lastly, to have interbred with our Homo sapiens ancestors to such an extent that 4% of every modern European’s genome is traceable to Neanderthal origins.
Now comes what could be the final nail in the coffin of the “unintelligent Neanderthals” myth: they might have been the first human species to paint in caves.
Using state-of-the-art techniques scientists have dated cave paintings at 11 locations in north Spain, including the Unesco World Heritage sites of Altamira, El Castillo and Tito Bustillo. Samples from 50 paintings of different styles were collected and the scientists discovered that a red disc on the wall of the El Castillo cave had to be more than 40,800 years old.”
“This is currently Europe’s oldest-dated art, by at least 4,000 years,” said Alistair Pike, of the University of Bristol, who led the research. “We know the modern humans arrived in Europe between 42,000 and 41,000 years ago.”
These dates and timings work very well for a variety of my personal zany theories.