A 5,000 year-old rock painting in southern Spain has been destroyed by thieves who tried to steal the Unesco World Heritage-listed artwork by chipping it off the cave wall where it was housed.
Residents of the Santa Elena in Spain’s southern Jaén province are reeling after news of the damage.
Local mayor Juan Caminero said the painting was now “irreparable” and condemned the act of vandalism as “heartless”, Spanish daily La Vanguardia reported on Monday.
News of the attempted theft first emerged on Saturday after visitors to the Los Escolares Cave noticed the damage to the zoomorphic painting of a person resembling a swallow.
After noticing what looked like evidence of someone having tried to chip away at the image with a pick, they spotted fine dust and rock fragments on the floor. Read more.
An interdisciplinary team has used a new technique known as plasma oxidation to produce radiocarbon dates for paint fragments as small as 10 micrograms in width.
Archaeologist and UWA Winthrop Professor Jo McDonald, says her team spent three years documenting rock art sites along the Canning Stock Route, in the eastern Pilbara, at the request of traditional owners.
"A lot of them had had not been visited for a very long time," she says.
"The community hasn’t lived on country since the 1960s – but we had a couple of traditional owners with us who had walked through those areas in the 70s." Read more.
Rare, prehistoric rock art which could be more than 4,000 years old has been discovered in the Brecon Beacons.
The Bronze Age discovery was made late last year by national park geologist Alan Bowring.
Experts claim the stone probably served as a way marker for farming communities.
Similar stones have been found in other parts of Britain but they are thought to be rare in mid Wales.
Its exact location in the Brecon Beacons is being kept a secret and news of its discovery comes after archaeologists found a similar ancient rock in the Scottish Highlands. Read more.
A rare example of prehistoric rock art has been uncovered in the Highlands.
Archaeologists made the discovery while moving a boulder decorated with ancient cup and ring marks to a new location in Ross-shire.
When they turned the stone over they found the same impressions on the other side of the rock. It is one of only a few decorated stones of its kind.
John Wombell, of North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NOSAS), said: “This is an amazing discovery.”
Susan Kruse, of Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), first discovered the stone at Heights of Fodderty several years ago when out walking. Read more.
Two pre-historic rock art sites in Wayanad district are facing neglect and ruin.
The petroglyphs (rock engravings) on the walls of a slanted rock on the Thovarimala hills, near Sulthan Bathery, and a newly discovered art site at Kappikunnu, near Pulpally, both believed to date back to the Neolithic period, are in urgent need of attention.
Though the rock engravings at Edakkal caves had been protected by government agencies, the ones at Thovarimala, just five km from Edakkal, and Kappikunnu are yet to be taken care of by the Department of Archaeology. Miscreants and anti-socials who reportedly frequent the Thovarimala had disfigured some of the precious carvings by wanton etching. More than 50 motifs had been engraved on the rock walls and many of these resemble the rock carvings of Edakkal. Read more.
There are more than 100 caves and rock sites in Tennessee that reveal forms of prehistoric art, and University of Tennessee archaeologist Jan Simek says he plans to find many others.
“There is a lot more out there to discover,” Simek said after presenting his team’s recent findings at the 2014 Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology meeting at Ellington Agricultural Center.
Simek, a distinguished professor of science at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and a team of archaeologists in recent years have made several new cave and rock art discoveries in the Cumberland Plateau, the Smoky Mountains and the river valley in East Tennessee. Some pictographs are underground and others in the open air, many dating back 6,000 years. Read more.
New technology is providing unexpected insights into some of the most distinctive rock art in the American West, archaeologists say.
The canyonlands of Texas’ Lower Pecos River are home to thousands of grand, colorful pictographs — depictions of people, animals, spirits, and often inscrutable symbols — painted in caves as much as 4,000 years ago.
But recent research is yielding new impressions of the ancient glyphs, revealing for example that prehistoric artists who painted in different styles used different ingredients for their pigments.
What’s more, new dating techniques suggest that a signature style of Lower Pecos rock art may have persisted thousands of years longer than had been thought. Read more.
Archaeologists have discovered a panel containing the only known example of spider rock art in Egypt and, it appears, the entire Old World.
The rock panel, now in two pieces, was found on the west wall of a shallow sandstone wadi, or valley, in the Kharga Oasis, located in Egypt’s western desert about 108 miles (175 kilometers) west of Luxor. Facing east, and illuminated by the morning sun, the panel is a “very unusual” find, said Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo who co-directs the North Kharga Oasis Survey Project.
The identification of the creatures as spiders is tentative and the date of it uncertain, Ikram told LiveScience in an email. Even so, based on other activity in the area, the rock art may date to about 4000 B.C. or earlier, which would put it well into prehistoric times, before Egypt was unified, noted Ikram, who detailed the finding in the most recent edition of the journal Sahara. Read more.