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Scientists examine handprint from 60,000 years ago — how did it get there?

The discovery was made in a hard-to-reach place, one of the deepest parts of the cave, called the Snake Gallery.

The handprint was found in Caceres, Spain [Shutterstock]

The research is being conducted by a team of archaeologists from the autonomous community of Extremadura, in western Spain. The region's cultural department reported that the discovery was made in the first quarter of this year in the lower part of the Maltravieso cave, near the town of Caceres.

The regional cultural department called the site "one of the most important for the study of cave art in Europe during the Paleolithic era."

Local authorities remind us that in the past various traces of human presence and their iconographic works were found in the same cave. They were found there, among others, paintings depicting animal figures, as well as symbols: dots, triangles, disks and lines.

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The new discovery is a handprint - another one discovered in the Maltravieso cave in recent years, which confirms the "symbol representation abilities of Neanderthals."

In total, over 60 types of various paintings of figures and symbols painted on the walls of the cave by ancient people have been found there.

The accidentally discovered handprint - according to archaeologists - is relatively small, which is why it has been suggested that it could have belonged to a child.

The discovery was made in a hard-to-reach place, one of the deepest parts of the cave, called the Snake Gallery. Probably, as researchers claim, this is where the oldest symbols created by Neanderthals in the cave examined were created.

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As part of the analysis carried out for several weeks, archaeologists are trying, among others, to examine the relationship between the handprint left on the wall and the particles of calcite, a mineral from the carbonate group, covering it. Researchers want to determine the age of these mineral deposits.

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This article was originally published on Onet Travel.

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