Cave paintings in Spain need to be analyzed further before the works can be confirmed as the oldest known examples in the world, an archaeologist said, casting doubt over a paper published in the journal Science.
|The Panel of Hands at El Castillo Cave in Spain. Researchers have now dated one of these hand stencils back to 37,300 years ago [Credit: Pedro Saura]
The findings at El Castillo need further confirmation, Jean Clottes, who led the research team that appraised the Chauvet works in 1998, said in a telephone interview. Pike’s team used a method based on the radioactive decay of uranium to analyze calcium carbonate crusts formed on top of the paintings. This contrasts with radiocarbon dating employed at Chauvet. The two methods have arrived at conflicting dates in the past, according to Clottes.