Fingers were made by Neanderthals on the limestone walls of a cave at least 57,000 years ago. The oldest parietal carvings in France, perhaps even in Europe, have been identified by scientists in France.
According to dating carried out by researchers who published their findings in the US journal PLOS One on Wednesday, these exceptional engravings are “probably” 75,000 years old. Settled in Western Europe.
The Roche-Godard Cave was discovered in 1846 on the banks of the Loire, twenty kilometers west of Tours in central France. But it remained “inaccessible until 1912, when the owner of the land on which it was located cleared the entrance”, blocked here by silt carried by the Loire thousands of years ago, the CNRS and the University of Rennes explained in a joint press release. Participated in the study.
Excavations were carried out in the 1970s, but it was not until 2008 that real research work resumed at La Roche-Godard Cave.
Often found by fingers, these engravings “represent abstract figures, some simple, some more elaborate, such as finger impressions around a large fossil embedded in rock or making long tracks covering a large surface,” the press release details.
Research work has made it possible to experimentally reproduce such lines and, above all, to “confirm their human nature”, eliminating any possibility that they are the result of a natural phenomenon or animal activity.
They “allowed us to rule out the possibility that these traces were made after the opening of the pit in 1912”.
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