Posted: Jun 15, 2012 9:11 AM by Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - New tests show that crude Spanish cave paintings of a red sphere and handprints are the oldest in the world, so ancient they may not have been by modern man.
Some scientists say they might have even been made by the much-maligned Neanderthals, but others disagree.
Testing the coating of paintings in 11 Spanish caves, researchers found that one is at least 40,800 years old. That makes them at least 15,000 years older than previously thought and older than the more famous French cave paintings by thousands of years.
Scientists dated the Spanish cave paintings by measuring the decay of uranium atoms, instead of traditional carbon-dating. The study was released Thursday by the journal Science.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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