jueves, 4 de septiembre de 2014

Possible Neanderthal rock engraving in Gorham’s Cave (Gibraltar)

A study of a rock engraving discovered within Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar finds that the cross-hatched impression was likely created by Neanderthals and excluding the possibility of an unintentional or utilitarian origin, would represent Neanderthals’ capacity for abstract expression.
Previously-discovered cave art has been exclusively attributed to modern humans, who arrived in Western Europe around 40,000 years ago. In July 2012, researchers discovered the abstract pattern engraved in the rock of Gorham’s Cave which is located on the southeast face of the Rock of Gibraltar.
The cross-hatched pattern was overlain by undisturbed sediment in which Neanderthal artefacts had previously been discovered, suggesting that the engraving pre-dated the 39,000-year-old assemblage.

Intentional creation


Further geochemical analysis of the mineral coating on the engraved grooves suggests that the rock art was created before deposition of the overlying sediment. The authors took microphotographs of the tool marks within the engraving, compared the marks with experimental marks made with various tools, and determined that the abstract cave engraving was likely created intentionally by repeatedly passing a robust cutting tip over the rock in the same direction, and not by incidental cutting associated with other activities.

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/09/2014/possible-neanderthal-rock-engraving-in-gorhams-cave

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