Archaeologists digging in Russia’s Ural Mountains have revealed a Paleolithic painted Bactrian camel which might be up to 40,000 years old and may have the answers to ancient human migratory patterns.

The painting of the red ocher camel drawn with black charcoal surprised archaeologists since the one in the Kapova mountain cave is very remote from sites where stone age people could have seen the creatures, Moscow State University stated in a press release.

Uranium-based dating methods were used to conclude that the camel cave painting was made between 37,700 - 14,500 years ago, a period when there were no camels there. Accordingly, the find has established a study that claims that people from 50,000 years ago travelled great tremendous expanses, even from France and Spain.

Some of the painting methods have proven that these underground refuges have are linked with the ones discovered in the Franco-Canrabrian area—present southeastern France.

Paintings from the Kapova Cave in the Southern Urals.

The Kapova cave is situated in Bashkiria, a southwestern Russian territory close to the border with Kazakhstan and is one of the most known cases of Paleolithic paintings. It is full of samples of stone-age fauna, like the wooly rhinoceros, bison, horse, and the wooly mammoth itself.

Most of the paintings were made in the period of 17,000 to 19,000 years ago. They include skilled representations of fish and creatures with human and creature characteristics.

The camel painting revealed earlier was found by Eudald Guillamet, a prominent conservation expert from Andorra, who was asked to come by the State Office of Protection of Cultural Heritage of Bashkiria to remove graffiti in the cave.

The paintings in the Kapova cave are notable for their utilization of red shade and the caves are known for blurry forms, remnants of deleted illustrations and traces of Paleolithic art of unidentified origin, like finger-painted lines, fingerprints and potentially prints of the lower part of the palm.

V.S. Zhitenev, head of Moscow State University’s South Ural archeological expedition and leading scientist for the Kapova and the close-by Ignatievskaya hollows, leads the digging and restoration at the cave.


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