New cave art found in Romania

It is well known that humans in caves in Europe began painting scenes of animals and humans on cave walls over 30,000 years ago. Over 300 sites with cave art have been found, mostly in Western Europe in places such as Chauvet and Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain.

This summer, a team of French researchers reported a new cave with art from Romania. This Central European site suggests that the prehistoric societies across Europe were linked by a common artistic culture.

A group of spelunkers were exploring Coliboaia Cave when they spotted the cave art. Some of the drawings can only be reached by using diving gear and navigating through very cold underground water-filled spaces.

The images of Coliboaia Cave include bison, a horse, two bear heads, and two rhinoceros heads. The style of the art is very similar to the styles known from western European caves.

Images of cave art in Coliboaia Cave, Romania

Images of cave art in Coliboaia Cave, Romania. Credit: Andrei Posmosanu/Romanian Federation of Speleology.

The best guess of the researchers currently is that the cave art is between 23,000 and 35,000 years old, but radiocarbon dates might help resolve the date. Plans are underway to conduct more thorough research on the site in the near future, but the remote location makes it challenging.

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