New Romanian cave art

less than 1 minute read

Michael Balter describes the discovery of Paleolithic-era art in Coliboaia Cave in Romania:

From the style of the drawings, [cave art expert Jean] Clottes estimates that the images are between 23,000 and 35,000 years old. "If these were found in France or Spain, we would say that they were either Aurignacian or Gravettian," Clottes says, referring to two prehistoric cultures that span this period of time. But until more research is carried out, including attempts to radiocarbon date the drawingsa difficult and controversial procedurethis is just a guess, Clottes adds. A rough idea of their age might be gleaned by radiocarbon dating the numerous bear bones found on the floor of the cave.

The report is interesting and describes how arduous it is to see some of the paintings, which survive at the top of a waterlogged passageway. I doubt the utility of stylistic information to date art that is more than a thousand miles from France, but there’s no obvious reason why they can’t be that old, either.

Given the inaccessibility of some of the art inside French caves, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot more might be discovered in the caves of Eastern Europe.