"Earliest" paintings discovered?



These cave paintings of seals (with stripes??) were recently discovered in Nerja, in Málaga, Spain. Going off the carbon dating of the charcoal near them they could be over 40,000 years ago. That pushes back the previously believed time frame of what could be considered humanities first paintings. Or, well, I guess using "Humanities" might not be correct since they are saying it would have had to been Neanderthals that painted them. They are saying it changes the idea that it was only humans that were capable of this.



  • "Our latest discoveries show that neanderthals decorated their bodies with paint and had an aesthetic sense, and that's a scientific revolutions because, until now, [we] homo sapiens have attributed our selves every achievement, showing [the neanderthals] almost like monkeys."


What is confusing about this is if Neanderthals's paintings would be considered "Humanities" or something different? I thought that Neanderthals were suppose to have interbred with humans? So they are human enough to breed with us, but not to be able to paint?


  • "Genetic research has confirmed that some interbreeding took place. The genomes of non-Africans include portions that are of Neanderthal origin,[81][82] due to interbreeding between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Eurasians in Northern Africa or the Middle East prior to their spread." link


I guess that's why this discovery is so interesting. I wouldn't be surprised for a second if Neanderthals could paint or create art - I've seen an elephant do that. Link to video. It's really a question of humans vs "Humanities"

If you consider Humanities to be art and culture from only "Humans" what would art and culture from a Neanderthal or another species (or sub species) that created similar things be?

One of my greatest fascinations is what really happened in the past. Although these are the "oldest found paintings" that by no means they are the oldest! It only means they are the oldest YET found, and are still preserved. The factors that go into something - anything - being left intact from the effects of time are immense! Fossils, graves, paintings, and almost all archaeology are only a minute proportion of things that have existed.

Leonardo was one of the first to challenge the accepted time frame given to the age of the world. In his time, and even in our own, people believed the earth to only be a few thousand years old. He could also be considered to be one of the first geologists and anthropologists because he not only noticed, but explained the presence of salt water sea shells on the tops of mountains. How could they get there? While others explained them by saying it was from "The great flood" Leonardo went into detail in his journals saying that wasn't possible. He realized that our planet must be a LOT older than it was assumed to be.

  • "Since things are much more ancient than letters, it is no marvel if, in our day, no records exist of these seas having covered so many countries; and if, moreover, some records had existed, war and conflagrations, the deluge of waters, the changes of languages and of laws have consumed every thing ancient. But sufficient for us is the testimony of things created in the salt waters, and found again in high mountains far from the seas." - Leonardo da Vinci 1500's
If history has taught us anything is that we have continued to prove ourselves wrong - only to then accept and teach new ideas just as factually. So i'll leave my mind wiiiiiide open to the possibility (and almost certainty) that "humanities" - and "humans" have been around for way longer than what we currently have evidence for. Sometimes the lack of evidence isn't because it wasn't there - but that it's been lost to time. "The consumer of all things"

"O Time! consumer of all things; O envious age! thou dost destroy all things and devour all things with the relentless teeth of years, little by little in a slow death." Leonardo da Vinci


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