Altamira cave dating
It was not until 1902, when several other findings of prehistoric paintings had served to render the hypothesis of the extreme antiquity of the Altamira paintings less offensive, that the scientific society retracted their opposition to the Spaniards.
That year, Emile Cartailhac emphatically admitted his mistake in the famous article, "Mea culpa d'un sceptique", published in the journal L'Anthropologie.
They also exploited the natural contours of the cave walls to give their subjects a three-dimensional effect.
The Polychrome Ceiling is the most impressive feature of the cave, depicting a herd of extinct steppe bison (Bison priscus Dated to the Magdalenian occupation, these paintings include abstract shapes in addition to animal subjects.
Human occupants of the site were well-positioned to take advantage of the rich wildlife that grazed in the valleys of the surrounding mountains as well as the marine life available in nearby coastal areas.
Altamira Cave was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985.
The cave was formed through collapses following early Karst phenomena in the calcareous rock of Mount Vispieres.
Archaeological excavations in the cave floor found rich deposits of artifacts from the Upper Solutrean (c.16,500 and 14,000 years ago).
It is located near the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain, 30 and consists of a series of twisting passages and chambers.
The main passage varies from two to six meters in height.