Thirty-eight thousand years ago, someone in southern France carved the image of a wild cow surrounded by rows of dots into a slab of limestone. Today, nearly 40 millennia later, that limestone slab, uncovered only five years ago, is giving anthropologists a new look at the first modern human beings known to have lived in Europe. The engraved slab was discovered at Abri Blanchard in France's Vézère Valley. The site, initially excavated in the early 20th century, and its sister site, Abri Castanet, are recognized as two of the oldest sites in Eurasia bearing engravings and other human artifacts from the Aurignacian culture, 43,000 to 33,000 years ago. "The discovery sheds new light on regional patterning of art and ornamentation across Europe at a time when the first modern humans to enter Europe dispersed westward and northward across the continent," said New York University anthropologist Randall White, who led the team of scientists who uncovered the artwork in 2012, in a press release.
The ancient origins of a technique used by several famous Romantic-era painters have been found among a bumper haul of ancient engravings. A treasure trove of 16 engraved limestone blocks crafted 38,000 years ago confirms the ancient origins of'pointillist techniques'. These techniques were later adopted by 19th and 20th-century artists such as Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Camille Pissarro, and Roy Lichtenstein. A treasure trove of 16 engraved limestone blocks created 38,000 years ago confirms the ancient origins of'pointillist techniques'. Pointillism is a painting technique in which small dots are used to create the illusion of a larger image.
The earliest modern humans that arrived in Western Europe are estimated to have migrated there from Africa about 45,000 years ago. And while they were already making tools and using fire, they were also making art. The Stadel lion-man sculpture -- found in Germany and dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago -- and the 40,800-year-old red disk from a cave in El Castillo, Spain, are among the oldest expressions of art found in Europe. These two may have some company now in the ancient history of European art, with another finding in France. In a paper published this week in the journal Quaternary International, an international team of anthropologists describe a limestone slab found in a collapsed rock shelter in the Vézère Valley of southwest France that dates back 38,000 years.
Modern humans arrived in Europe 45,000 years ago but little is known about how they spread across the continent before the introduction of farming. Now, researchers carrying out the most detailed genetic analysis of Upper Paleolithic Europeans to date have discovered a major new lineage of early modern humans. This group, which lived in the northwest 35,000 years ago, directly contributed to the ancestry of present-day Europeans and is believed to have been formed of the'founding fathers' of Europe. Researchers carrying out the most detailed genetic analysis of Upper Paleolithic Europeans to date have discovered a major new lineage of early modern humans. This group, which lived in the northwest around 35,000 years ago, directly contributed to the ancestry of present-day Europeans (artist's impression pictured) Archaeological studies have previously found modern humans swept into Europe 45,000 years ago.
Europe was a desolate region for Stone Age humanity if a new study is to be believed - as its researchers claim only 1,500 humans lived on the continent. While it is known humans arrived in the region 43,000 years ago, until now there has been no official estimation of just how many people settled. Now teams from the University of Cologne - studying archaeological evidence from a period of European prehistory called the Aurignacian, between 42,000 and 33,000 years ago - have said it could be as little as 1,500. Their conclusions are based on the belief that only 13 regions had human life split into approximately 35 different groups of people containing 42 individuals each. Europe was a desolate region for Stone Age life as a study find there were only 1,500 human beings throughout the continent.