ALTAMIRA CAVE PAINTINGS AND ROCK MURALS
Seventeen decorated caves of the Paleolithic age were inscribed as an extension to the Altamira Cave, inscribed in 1985. The property will now appear on the List as Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain. The property represents the apogee of Paleolithic cave art that developed across Europe, from the Urals to the Iberian Peninusula, from 35,000 to 11,000 BC. Because of their deep galleries, isolated from external climatic influences, these caves are particularly well preserved. The caves are inscribed as masterpieces of creative genius and as the humanity’s earliest accomplished art. They are also inscribed as exceptional testimonies to a cultural tradition and as outstanding illustrations of a significant stage in human history.
1868-cave discovered by chance by the hunter Modesto Cubillas.
1875-first exploration by Marcelino Sanz de Santuola, a nobleman from Santander.
1879-the first paintings were discovered by Maria, the daugther of Marcelino de Santuola.
1880-first publication of the paintings by Marcelino de Santuola: Breves apuntes sobre algunos objetos prehistóricos de la provincia de Santander (Brief notes about some prehistoric objects of the Santander province).
1902-the prehistoric age of the Altamira paintings was recognized.
1962-first copy of the cave made by the Deutsches Museum.
1964-second copy made for Madrid.
19??-closed for the public.
1985-enrolled into UNESCO's World Heritage List.
1991-first dating of the paintings with the C14-dating resulted in about 14,000 years.
17-JUL-2001-Altamira II, a nearby artificial reproduction inaugurated by Spains King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
LONDON:European scientists claim to have discovered that pre-historic cave painintings actually took upto 20,000years to complete. ( courtesy-Times Of India)
Hadingham, Evan, Secrets of the Ice Age: The World of the Cave Artists, (Walker and Company: New York, 1979)
Ucko, Peter J. and Rosenfeld, Andrew, Paleolithic Cave Art, (McGraw-Hill Book Company: New York, 1967.)