Recently, a team of anthropologists from the United States and France announced the discovery of a 40,000-year-old gravure in the Vezere Valley, situated in the Abri Blanchard region. The team believes that this gravure is the earliest form of art ever to be discovered so far. The estimates reveal that the Vezere Valley gravure predates the Paleolithic drawing from the Cave of Altamira, Spain, by at least 1,000 years.
The tattered stone slab which scientists believe to be the earliest art attempt was actually discovered in 2012. According to the team of anthropologists who discovered the stone slab embedded in a rock bed, the gravure depicts the silhouette of a herd of aurochs. As explained, the aurochs is a type of wild cattle which roamed the plains of North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
While the genus dates back to the early Pleistocene, historical records reveal that the last member of this species was sighted and hunted down in a Polish forest, at the beginning of the 17th century.
Randall White, the scientist in charge of the Vezere Valley excavations, declared that the 40,000-year-old gravure discovered back in 2012, might shed some light on how the region can determine the art patterns.
According to White, the Abri Blanchard region where the stone slab was discovered is considered a Mecca for anthropologists and archaeologists as the region’s excavation began in the early years of the 19th century.
Apart from the stone gravure which depicts a herd of aurochs surrounded by dots, the team also found various artifacts scattered throughout the dig site such as teeth, ivory, pierced shells, various types of engravings, paintings on stone walls, and even stone formations which resemble beads.
White, the chief scientist, declared that the 40,000-year-old stone gravure, as well as the other ornamental pieces scattered throughout the Valley, were crafted by the first modern humans who entered Europe, only to migrate to the western and northern part of the continent.
The gravure discovered in the Vezere Valley provides insight into the earliest humans’ way of living and their beliefs. According to the team of anthropologists, the gravure discovered in 2012, has now been dubbed the earliest form of graphical representation, predating even the mammoth drawings from the Cave of Altamira, believes to be at least 36,000 years old.
At the moment, the team is investigating the area to see if they can uncover even more relics that could tell us a bit more about our ancestors.
Image source: Wikipedia