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>> These paintings are no Picasso's. But what they lack in artistic finesse, they make up for in age. They were painted by Neanderthals nearly 65,000 years ago, in 3 caves, in the country of Picasso's birth, Spain. And according to the archaeologists who dated them, that transforms what we know about art.
Reuters' Ben Hirschler explains the significance of this discovery.>> I think it'll cause a bit of a rethink. The scientific community has been kind of split up until now as to how sophisticated Neanderthals were. But there's traditionally been this idea, they were uncultured, stupid. And this shows that that's far from the truth.
>> To date, the use of symbolic representation has only been attributed to modern humans. But this cave art was created 20,000 years before we arrived in Europe. The art, featuring animals, dots and geometric signs, suggests Neanderthals had previously unproven skills, such as selecting appropriate display locations and mixing pigments.
>> This is now, really, a smoking gun that shows they actually had some artistic sensibility and they kind of understood symbolism in a way that was not apparent until now.>> Scientists from the university of Southampton and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, used state of the art techniques to determine the age of the paintings.
They say this is concrete evidence that, while we humans may have thought brought art the world, our extinct cousins were a few thousand years, ahead of us.