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Most of this post is taken from our Dating Eagle Cave campaign page.Check it out and be sure and see the video as you consider helping support our goal of making Eagle Cave the best dated and most thoroughly studied site in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas."You often hear people talk about the oldest continuous culture in the world being Aboriginal culture," says geologist Professor Brad Pillans of the Australian National University."Many archaeologists have thought rock art has been a part of Aboriginal culture since earliest times...Other important Cantabrian sites of Ice Age cave art include the El Castillo Cave (c.39,000 BCE), and the Pasiega Cave (c.16,000 BCE), as well as La Pileta Cave (18,000 BCE) (Malaga) and Tito Bustillo Cave (14,000 BCE) (Asturias).First discovered in 1868, though not fully appreciated until the 1900s, Altamira was the first of the great caches of prehistoric art to be discovered, and despite other exciting finds in Cantabria and southern France, Altamira's paintings of bisons and other wild mammals are still the most vividly coloured and visually powerful examples of Paleolithic art and culture to be found on the continent of Europe.As usual, archeologists remain undecided about when Altamira's parietal art was first created.Early investigations suggested that the most of it was created at the same time as the Lascaux cave paintings - that is, during the early period of Magdalenian art (15,000 BCE).

The general style at Altamira remains that of Franco-Cantabrian cave art, as characterised by the pronounced realism of the figures represented.

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Many people will be forgiven for thinking that Australia has some of the oldest rock art in the world, but the truth there is no reliable dating to show this.

Indeed, Altamira's artists are renowned for how they used the natural contours of the cave to make their animal figures seem extra-real.

The actual subterranean complex itself consists of a 270-metre long series of twisting passages ranging from 2-6 metres (about 7-20 feet) in height, in which more than 100 animal figures are depicted.

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