The CENIEH collaborates in dating rock art in the cave Las Ventanas

A paper has just been published in PLOS ONE which confirms an age of 35,000 years for the oldest engravings found in this cave located in Granada (Spain)

The Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) has participated in a study led by the Universidad de Sevilla and published in the journal PLOS ONE, on the Paleolithic engravings in the cave Las Ventanas , one of the highest sites (at 1015 meters) where rock art has been found in the Iberian Peninsula.

The Uranium Series Laboratory of the CENIEH has collaborated in establishing the chronological framework, and an age of 35,000 years has been confirmed for the oldest rock art found in this cave in the province of Granada, situated in the Sierra de Arana (Píñar).

“The dates we have obtained at the CENIEH, using multi-collector plasma source mass spectrometry, confirm the results of the carbon-14 analysis, using accelerator mass spectrometry, helping to underpin the ages calculated", comments Fernando Jiménez Barrido, from the Uranium Series Laboratory.

Specifically, two groups of engravings of different ages have been found: one dating from between the end of the Pleistocene and the start of the Holocene (8,500 – 15,000 years ago), and another going as far back as 35,000 years.

The technical and thematic “proximity” between the hundreds of engravings in this cave may open up, with all due caution, a way of identifying possible interactions between modern humans and Neanderthals.