Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First farmers and stockbreeders painted with the same pigments as their hunters ancestors

Date:
January 14, 2014
Source:
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Summary:
Scientists have analyzed, for the first time, two cave figures of rock shelters located in the archaeological ensemble of Minateda, in Hellín (Albacete). They have different styles and are separated by several millenniums in time. The results show that the composition of the painting in Prehistory did not change in thousands of years and that there were no cultural or ritual connotations in its making.

The painting composition in Prehistory did not change in thousands of years and its making had no ritual connotations, according to new research.
Credit: CSIC

The first of the analyzed figures, depicting a bovid, belongs to the Levantine art practiced by the nomadic hunters-gatherers who inhabited the Iberian Peninsula about 10,000 years ago. On the other hand, the second figure, depicting a quadruped, has a schematic style, developed by the first producers, farmers and stockbreeders who lived in the area between 6,500 and 3,500 years ago. The first style is characterized by the naturalism of its shapes and scenes, while the second outlines its reasons, sometimes even reaching abstraction.

Related Articles


The artists used iron oxides and terrigenous as pigments. These materials are easily found in the environment of the analyzed shelters: the Abrigo Grande de Minateda, the most emblematic to define the origin and evolution of rock art in the Mediterranean Basin of the Iberian Peninsula, and the Abrigo del Barranco de la Mortaja.

Alberto Jorge, CSIC researcher at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, states: "The compositions of the pigments used in both styles, separated by several millenniums in time, are identical, which means that the artists did not turn to intentioned recipes as it was previously thought. The truth is that it is an abundant and good-quality pigmenting material that was easy to find nearby."

New interpretations

Another conclusion of the work has implications in the research methodology of the pigments of rock art outdoors. The presence of calcium oxalate would prove that pigment and carrier merged with the outer layer over the centuries. Jorge explains: "This result would question the studies conducted so far, based on distinguishing three stratigraphic layers -- surface, pigment and patina-, as these are continuously merged and altered, which introduces a clear random factor in the dating." Researchers have also detected the presence of certain fatty acids, which would suggest that when pigments were processed, applied or stored, could come into contact with animal skins.

CSIC researcher adds: "From now on, we need to be very cautious when we talk about rituals in the preparation of pigments, as these interpretations came up when substances such as calcium phosphates, interpreted as charred and crushed bones, were found in the pigments. These extrapolations are not correct since we also found these substances in the rocky substrate itself."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martí Mas, Alberto Jorge, Beatriz Gavilán, Mónica Solís, Enrique Parra, Pedro-Pablo Pérez. Minateda rock shelters (Albacete) and post-palaeolithic art of the Mediterranean Basin in Spain: pigments, surfaces and patinas. Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013; 40 (12): 4635 DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.07.019

Cite This Page:

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). "First farmers and stockbreeders painted with the same pigments as their hunters ancestors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114091954.htm>.
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). (2014, January 14). First farmers and stockbreeders painted with the same pigments as their hunters ancestors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114091954.htm
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). "First farmers and stockbreeders painted with the same pigments as their hunters ancestors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114091954.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cleaners Find Ancient Peru Mummy

Cleaners Find Ancient Peru Mummy

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 15, 2015) — Cleaners in Peru stumble across an ancient mummy mysteriously dumped near rubbish in the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
388 Unidentified Pearl Harbor Victims To Be Exhumed, ID'd

388 Unidentified Pearl Harbor Victims To Be Exhumed, ID'd

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2015) — The Department of Defense is exhuming the unidentified remains of 388 servicemen who died on board the USS Oklahoma in 1941. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manuscript by Nazi Code Breaker Alan Turing Sells for $1 Million

Manuscript by Nazi Code Breaker Alan Turing Sells for $1 Million

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Apr. 13, 2015) — Alan Turing&apos;s notebook containing the foundations of mathematics and computer science sells at auction for $1,025,000 (USD). Roselle Chen reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Replica Cave Showcases Artistry of Stone Age Man

Replica Cave Showcases Artistry of Stone Age Man

AFP (Apr. 10, 2015) — A replica of a cave in the Ardeche, in southern France will be opened Friday to give visitors the chance to see cave paintings produced around 36,000 years ago. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins