Wednesday 22 February 2012

Whacky Wednesday: A Claim for the Earliest Art, Not the Earliest Art!!!

Tha's what I'm talkin' 'bout. It doesn't take much to get the media stenographers buzzing. This story has been running elsewhere, but I thought it odd that Gizmodo should be throwing this up, and in several languages, too. The claim is being made that these seals are 40+ kyr old, which would be astonishing. But those in charge of studying the images at the Cave of Nerja (Málaga, Spain) are saying these beautiful seals must have been painted by Neanderthals. I kid you not! 
From Diaria Córdoba
     Have they dated the pigment???? NO! They've dated charcoal smears in proximity to the pictographs. At best, it suggests that someone with a torch brushed against the travertine that long ago. The paintings could have been installed at any time since then.
     I wouldn't be so exercised if it weren't that the story's gonna get into the mainstream (mordant) media and then the Cheshire Cat'll be out of the bag! And we both know how hard it is to get such myths back into the proverbial bag.
     Better yet, because there's no archaeological record of early modern humans in that precise part of Spain, they're claiming that they must therefore have been rendered by the local Neanderthal population. There's a leap for you! As far as I'm aware, the archaeology of modern humans has its beginnings in Spain between about 41 kya and about 47 kya. So, tell me again why these paintings MUST have been made by Neanderthals!
     A. Crock. Of. It.

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