Archaeologists recently stumbled upon more than 110 cave paintings in a popular Spanish prehistoric site, according to a research article published in September.
Researchers uncovered the Paleolithic cave art in Cova Dones, Valencia, Spain, which has been known to locals for hundreds of years, according to Haaretz. Despite being a popular tourist and local hiking spot, the art within the cave system was lost for more than 24,000 years, only to be rediscovered in 2021.
Analysis of the cave paintings uncovered in Cova Dones was completed and published in September in the journal Antiquity, and the findings were fairly stunning. The site consists of a single cave, which is roughly 500m deep, and has more than 110 pieces of individual art, images of which were shared online.
More than 100 ancient paintings and engravings, thought to be at least 24,000 years old, have been found in a 500 meter-long cave in “Cova Dones” or “Cueva Dones”, Millares near Valencia in Spain.
The cave site is well-known by locals but the existence of paleolithic paintings… pic.twitter.com/IyvsNkIpkc
— Ticia Verveer (@ticiaverveer) September 11, 2023
At least 19 of the paintings are believed to be of animals. These include seven horses, female red deer (hinds), aurochs, a stag and two other animals that have yet to be identified (and may have gone extinct in the 24,000 years since the paintings were made). Much of the rest of the artwork consists of what the researchers called “conventional signs,” like rectangles and doodles.
“The variability and rarity of the technical features of the artworks are noteworthy because the assemblage includes different types of engravings and paintings,” the researchers wrote. “The engravings comprise the classic single-trait outlines of figures, but also figures shaded by scraping the mondmilch (a type of limestone precipitate) on the surface of the walls. This technique is rare in Palaeolithic cave art and previously unknown in eastern Iberia.”