Science of dating cave paintings

The ancient Egyptian site of Bir Umm Tineidb was also the burial place of a 25-year-old woman who was found with precious shells from the Red Sea.Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has made the surprise announcement that paintings and early writings dating back from 3,500 to 3,000 B. have just been discovered in the Eastern Desert at the site of Bir Umm Tineidba which can be found on the eastern shores of the Nile.João Zilhão states that “these results imply an important change of paradigm regarding human evolution so far”.

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Therefore, it has been proved that a lineal sign (scalariform) was made at least 64,800 years ago in the cave La Pasiega; a hand stencil was painted at least 66,700 years ago in the cave in Maltravieso, and a set of speleothems was covered in paint –as seen in the color concentration- in Ardales at least 65,500 years ago. The study shows new dates for Paleolithic art found in three Spanish caves.The new uranium-thorium dating method (T-Th), based on uranium radioactive disintegration, enabled researchers to date the paintings of the caves in Ardales (Malaga), Maltravieso (Cacers) and La Pasiega (Cantabria) to, at least, 64,800 years ago.The datings for these works are dated at least 20,000 years prior the arrival of modern humans in Europe. The applied dating method, uranium-thorium (U-Th), allows researchers to set dates for small samples (a few milligrams) from deposits of existing calcite covering the paintings.

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