Mission to date cave paintings

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A RESEARCHER at the University of Sheffield has helped to reveal Spanish cave paintings date back more than 40,000 years, making them the oldest in Europe.

Dr Paul Pettitt from the university, along with a team from the University of Bristol, found that the practice of cave art in Europe began up to 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The discovery indicates the paintings were created either by the first anatomically modern humans in Europe or, perhaps, by Neanderthals.

Dr Pettitt said: “Until now our understanding of the age of cave art was sketchy at best.”

A total of 50 paintings in 11 caves in Northern Spain, including UNESCO World Heritage sites, were dated by the team of researchers.