Oldest map in western Europe found engraved on 14,000-year-old rock

Published on August 7th, 2009 | by Admin


Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest map in Western Europe, in a cave in Spain.

A team led by Pilar Utrilla from the University of Zaragoza in Spain, discovered the rock in 1994 but it has taken them 15 years to disentangle the mess of etched lines. They appear to show a prominent peak nearby as well as rivers, ponds and scrubland. There are also recognisable sketches of animals including reindeer, a stag and some ibex.

‘All of these engravings could be a sketch or a simple map of the area around the cave. It could represent the plan for a coming hunt or perhaps a narrative story of one that had already happened,’ they wrote in the Journal of Human Evolution.

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