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Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria)

Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria)
Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria)
The rock art in Altamira Cave was the first ensemble of Palaeolithic parietal art to be identified scientifically (Sautuola, 1880). Due to the great thematic, technical and stylistic variety of the art in the cave, which constitutes one of the most complete Palaeolithic art ensembles, Altamira was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985. Uranium-series dating has recently been applied to figures on the decorated ceiling in the cave. Several motifs are partly covered by thin layers of calcite precipitates, whose formation process is datable by this method. The results provide the date when the calcite formed, which gives a minimum age for the underlying depictions. These results confirm that the parietal art at Altamira was produced during a prolonged period of time, at least 20,000 years (between 35,000 and 15,200 years ago), and that part of the ensemble corresponds to the Aurignacian period.
0305-4403
4098-4106
Garcia-Diez, M.
67bbc6e6-c49f-4e35-aea3-a1d5d30702ea
Hoffmann, D.L.
a907ccc5-1e0b-4db1-a1d8-c79ab6778510
Zilhao, J.
b8b1c80f-62b9-465a-8aee-8b71e786e7aa
de las Heras, C.
2735951f-5752-47f5-bb0e-a0a96e34e3ea
Lasheras, J.A.
4beed2e8-19ee-44be-b068-0186d507d183
Montes, R.
60c65f43-a6d3-4eec-a679-f0a43d9c999b
Pike, A.W.G.
e8603e20-0a89-4d57-a294-247b983fc857
Garcia-Diez, M.
67bbc6e6-c49f-4e35-aea3-a1d5d30702ea
Hoffmann, D.L.
a907ccc5-1e0b-4db1-a1d8-c79ab6778510
Zilhao, J.
b8b1c80f-62b9-465a-8aee-8b71e786e7aa
de las Heras, C.
2735951f-5752-47f5-bb0e-a0a96e34e3ea
Lasheras, J.A.
4beed2e8-19ee-44be-b068-0186d507d183
Montes, R.
60c65f43-a6d3-4eec-a679-f0a43d9c999b
Pike, A.W.G.
e8603e20-0a89-4d57-a294-247b983fc857

Garcia-Diez, M., Hoffmann, D.L., Zilhao, J., de las Heras, C., Lasheras, J.A., Montes, R. and Pike, A.W.G. (2013) Uranium series dating reveals a long sequence of rock art at Altamira Cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria). Journal of Archaeological Science, 40 (11), 4098-4106. (doi:10.1016/j.jas.2013.05.011).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The rock art in Altamira Cave was the first ensemble of Palaeolithic parietal art to be identified scientifically (Sautuola, 1880). Due to the great thematic, technical and stylistic variety of the art in the cave, which constitutes one of the most complete Palaeolithic art ensembles, Altamira was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1985. Uranium-series dating has recently been applied to figures on the decorated ceiling in the cave. Several motifs are partly covered by thin layers of calcite precipitates, whose formation process is datable by this method. The results provide the date when the calcite formed, which gives a minimum age for the underlying depictions. These results confirm that the parietal art at Altamira was produced during a prolonged period of time, at least 20,000 years (between 35,000 and 15,200 years ago), and that part of the ensemble corresponds to the Aurignacian period.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: November 2013
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358213
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358213
ISSN: 0305-4403
PURE UUID: 3021a9f4-4464-4d05-82e5-1d3e25977d65
ORCID for A.W.G. Pike: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5610-8948

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Oct 2013 12:18
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 01:37

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