Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News

BRADSHAW FOUNDATION - LATEST NEWS

 

New hand prints found in Altamira

08 Feb 2019
Share on Facebook

An article on elpais.com and translated by Asia London Palomba - Three new prehistoric hand prints found inside Altamira cave in Spain - reports on the discovery made during the course of inventory work inside the world-famous Palaeolithic site.

Cave of Altamira in Spain. Rock art
Painted hands in the cave of Altamira. Image: Getty Images.

Members of the Museum of Altamira's research team and managers of the Handpas project, a venture that documents and spreads images of Paleolithic hand representations in Europe, have found three new hand prints on the walls of Altamira cave, in Spain's northern Cantabria region, that "almost certainly" were done more than 20,000 years ago.

 
Article continues below
 

The three painted hands, reportedly in bad condition, add to the six that were already known to exist in the cave of Altamira. The three were identified during the course of documentary and inventory work within the cave.

After they were discovered, the hands were digitally photographed and added to Handpas' 3D catalogue of Paleolithic hands in Europe. The collaboration between the project and the museum was announced by Pilar Fatás, director of Altamira Museum, by her deputy Carmen de las Heras, and by the director of Handpas, Hipólito Collado, who is also head of the archaeology department of the regional government of Extremadura.

Eight of the painted hands are located on the ceiling of Sala de Polícromos (Polychrome Room) between horse representations, and the other one is in the Galería Final, the furthermost space located over 200 meters from the cave mouth. This particular work of art, whose existence had been known since the 1980s, but which had not been properly analyzed, is different from the rest. Apart from being a print rather than a stencil, meaning that the full hand was painted and used to make a print, it is also the hand of a child. Painted a deep black, it is "quite exceptional" as very few hands of this size have been documented, says De las Heras.

Cave of Altamira in Spain. Rock art

Polychrome ceiling in the cave of Altamira. © Museo de Altamira. Photo P. Saura.

The others, located in the Polychrome Room, vary in color, ranging from a dark violet to an intense red. Although it is not known for sure, De las Heras believes that the hands are superimposed on the images of horses. According to data obtained and analyzed by Collado, 70% of the prehistoric population was right-handed.

The importance of the discovery is not just in the number of prints discovered, but also in the way this section of the cave would have looked before the famous bison painting. De la Heras adds that "Thirty-two years after the last publication on the art of Altamira, the cave continues to produce relevant findings that never cease to amaze us and show us its greatness."

The Museum of Altamira has showcased a documentary called 'Handpas, manos del pasado' (Handpas, hands of the past), which aims to provide answers to many of the questions raised by the prehistoric art. The documentary has been shown at multiple international science film festivals.

See the rock art of the Cave of Altamira:
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/spain/altamira/index.php

HANDPAS:
http://handpas.juntaex.es/en/

COMMENTS

 
Bradshaw FoundationAboutiShopBook ReviewSite MapMailing ListDonateFacebookTwitterContact
If you have enjoyed visiting this section of the website please consider adding a link
Bradshaw Foundation © MMXI
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Privacy Policy Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Banksy Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation