Archaeologists were recently stunned to discover Paleolithic animal paintings of in the Atxurra cave in Basque Country, Spain. The 70 or so paintings are between 12,000 and 14,000 years old, and they depict deer, bison, horses, and goats - some in the throes of being hunted by the prehistoric people of the time. The caves were first discovered in 1929, yet the paintings were only recently uncovered.
Archaeologist Deigo Garate made the amazing find nearly 1,000 feet underground in the northern Spanish cave. No one had excavated the area that deeply yet, even though Garate has spent ten years searching Basque Country caves and Atxurra has been known for over 80 years. He told The Local, “It is an exceptional find, the equivalent of discovering a lost Picasso.”
The paintings were found in excellent condition, with charcoal and flint tools nearby. One depiction features a bison being hunted and pierced with over twenty spears – the most detailed, speared bison depiction in all of Europe. The Atxurra discovery could also be hold the record for most animal figures in all of Basque Country. Garate says, “Without doubt it is the most important discovery of my career.”
Images via Bizkaia Provincial Council