Like other sciences, archaeology is not an infallible discipline. It offers theories of bygone cultures and peoples. Each discovery brings to light new and exciting details that reveal more about ancient civilizations. The latest addition to the list of astounding discoveries is a 38,000-year-old scribble of a cow that was found in a French cave.
The Newest Archaeological Find in France
Archaeologists are excited to share the latest historical treasure that they came upon in French cave. The find, a slab of limestone, looks ordinary and rather unexciting at first glance. It is easy to understand how it could have been overlooked for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found that it actually contains artwork that tells more about how people lived over 30,000 years ago. The slab depicts important parts of ancient life like the cows that used to inhabit the area.
The drawing of the cow is surrounded by dots. Archaeologists do not know yet what significance the dots hold or if they are relevant at all. Still, the artwork itself confirms that people from northern Africa traveled to the central and western parts of Europe where they settled and established tribes or clans. The drawing of the cow could reveal that they herded or hunted this animal as a source of food.
This latest find joins others made recently in Central and Western Europe. Archaeologists have found cave drawings in both Germany and Spain. The sketches date back more than 40,000 years. While lay people may not be able to detect what stories are being told with the artwork, archaeologists know that it gives more details on how people back then determined social standing as well as regional, group, and individual identities.
The recently unearthed ancient artwork continues to be studied. It may be displayed to the public in the near future.
Recent North American Archaeological Finds
The important cradles of civilization are found in Europe and Africa, making these continents vital to the field of archaeology. North America also has its own bevy of archaeological finds that offer interesting and curious insights about how early people lived. Some of the most interesting discoveries were made as recently as 2015. While the finds do not date back to ancient times, they are still important to learning more about the continent’s more recent history.
Archaeologists were particularly excited to find the site of the deadliest Native American massacre. The Bear River Massacre took place in Southeastern Idaho in 1863 when the California Volunteers killed more than 250 Shoshone men, women, and children. The American government at the time was eager to cover up the tragedy and never revealed its exact location. Archaeologists believe they have discovered the site of the Shoshone camp and the location where the massacre took place.
Curiously, archaeologists in North America now consider pull beer tabs to be valid archaeological finds. While the tabs are not ancient artifacts, they are still important to keeping an accurate record of recent history. Beer cans today do not have pull tabs. The discarded tabs are routinely unearthed and given to archaeologists for study and archive purposes.
Drawing to an End
Ancient and not-so-ancient history lies hidden under the earth’s surface, in caves, and on riverbeds throughout the world. Some of the stories that should not be forgotten are once again coming to light thanks to the efforts of archaeologists. Other stories are finding new life as limestone artwork is studied and interpreted. the 38,000-year-old artwork that was discovered in France joins other recent finds like those made in Germany, Spain, and North America.
Image Source: Flickr