Paleolithic hunters inhabited the cave of Altamira from 22,000 years ago, 4,000 earlier than previously thought, a discovery that gives new meaning to their ancient paintings, a handful of red figures until now framed in a cultural period, the Solutrean , which features “screeched.” This was revealed by a study conducted by researchers at the Altamira Museum itself, reviewing the excavations were made in the cave in the early twentieth century by pioneers like Hermilio Alcalde del Rio, Breuil and Obermaier, whose conclusions are contained in an article yet published: ‘The Cave of Altamira: new data on archaeological site (sedimentology and chronology)’.


As the authors point out, is paradoxical, but the knowledge they had of human occupations of the most famous of the Palaeolithic caves of the world was small, it was one of the first discovered (1879) and because it was excavated soon, with Techniques sometimes consisted of emptying the reservoir with pick and shovel in search of some archaeological pieces.
Altamira director, José Antonio Lasheras, first author, explained to EFE that really have not found anything that did not see a century ago Mayor of Rio or Obermaier, who cut inside and Altamira in 1903 1924, or that were not there when Joaquin Gonzalez Echegaray and Leslie Gordon Freeman returned to explore the site in 1980. “We looked better than they themselves were” he says.
Cave closed

With the cave closed to the public since 2002 to study its conservation status, in 2004 and 2006 archaeologists from the Museum and Madrid universities that have signed Article cleaned up the loose dirt that was inside the cave, the product of old excavations and works that were made in the sixties to shore up some areas where there was risk of collapse and to allow outside Altamira visits.
Until then, it was known that the man had lived in Altamira from 18,000 years ago (the date obtained in the oldest paintings in which a dye was used organic carbon) until 13,000, when entry is collapsed and left sealed the cave, buried under tons of rock lobby where the residents do the bulk of everyday tasks such as cooking, eating or carving their flint and bone tools.
The polychrome bison that have become world famous Altamira, as the summit of Paleolithic art, painted near the end of that sequence, some 14,000 years ago, in the Magdalenian.
Carbon 14

However, in the cave are red figures, hands, horses that can be dated with carbon 14 and are traditionally associated the earliest period dated at Altamira, the Solutrean (18,000 years ago), but stylistically they were more like other Gravettian period (from 27,000 to 21,000 ago years) found in other caves in Cantabria, as El Pendo and La Pasiega.
New Carbon 14 tests indicate that the deeper layer of Altamira is 21,910 years old.
Second project

Altamira’s team now working on a second project, a completely new excavation has been opened outside the cave in the lobby of the old inhabited by the man who stood outside the cave after the collapse of the post.
In it, have found a Magdalenian level of between 13,000 and 14,000 years with objects characteristic of that culture, like a blade of a deer with a drawing of the same animal, recorded.

Information obtained from www.eldiariomontanes.es