In a statement released by the government of Cantabria Miguel Angel Serna, the province’s culture minister, said that cave drawings dating from the Paleolithic period, around 20,000 years old, had been discovered by amateur cavers.
The cave, close to the Deva River, represents a significant addition to the pre-historic heritage of a region already rich in artistic finds, prompting Serna to state that Cantabria should now be considered the ‘Capital of European Rock Art.’ Particularly interesting images include combinations of lines and dots drawn in a seemingly systematic manner.
Other cave art found in the region include spectacular images of animals, including bison and deer.
Many of the caves in the region also contain remains of animals now extinct in the region, including cave bears, and examples of prehistoric tools such as arrow heads. The Cave of Altamira, one of the most spectacular, was given UNESCO world heritage status in 1985.
The Paleolithic Period is a time associated with the development of stone tools and was a period dominated by extreme climatic shifts between glacial and warmer periods, perhaps forcing humans to seek refuge in caves. The government hopes that finds such as this will boost tourism in the region.