A tourist cave from 41 thousand years ago

According to Art-net, the results of new research conducted by researchers at the University of Cordoba show that the Nerja Caves in Malaga, a city located in southern Spain, had more prehistoric visitors than any other place in Europe.

“Nerja” caves were accidentally discovered by some children in 1959. These caves, which have “Paleolithic” art engraved on their walls, have been a popular place for tourists and archaeologists. The results of the latest research conducted on these caves show that these caves have continuously attracted visitors for 41,000 years, or that visiting this place has started 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Although the prehistoric art of this cave has been able to be noticed to a large extent, recent research has only focused on the dating of human activity in this place. Prehistoric visitors used torches to light the caves, and researchers used radiocarbon dating using soot on the walls and charcoal left on the floor.

This is the method that “Marian Medina”, the senior researcher of the article published in “Scientific Reports” called it “smoke archaeology”.

In a part of this article, the researchers described as follows: “This research includes 68 radiocarbon dates. At least 35,000 years of human activity in the karst phenomenon and 64 different stages have been identified, which indicates the highest number of visits to a prehistoric cave located in Europe.

The oldest remains found coincide with the Paleolithic toolmaking period of Zebrin.


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