Saturday, December 15, 2012


 Charcoal rhinoceros, Coliboaia cave, Romania.
From: Zorich, Zach, Drawing Paleolithic Romania,
page 14, from Archaeology Magazine, January/February 2012.

The January/February 2012 issue of Archaeology Magazine contained an article, written by Zach Zorich, about the discovery of charcoal drawings in the Romanian cave of Coliboaia. John Clottes visited the cave in the Spring of 2010 and reported “about eight images that appear to have been drawn with pieces of charcoal.” One of the images is very clearly a rhinoceros, and others are described as depicting “horses or bears.” Some of the images have been damaged by scratching from the claws of hanging bats, and in places a layer of calcite has formed over the drawings, partially obscuring them. 

Charcoal drawing of a horse, Coliboaia cave, Romania.
From: Zorich, Zach, Drawing Paleolithic Romanian, p. 14,
from Archaeology Magazine, January/February 2012.

Clottes removed a small sample of charcoal from one of the drawings as well as collecting a small piece of charcoal from a ledge below that image for radiocarbon dating. The resulting reported dates place the drawing at about 32,000 years BP and the charcoal came in at about 35,000 BP.  Clottes stated “the Coliboaia dates are important because they prove that from the earliest times of cave art in Europe, people had the same cultural practices all over the continent.”

Planned future research at this site will include precise recording of the charcoal drawings by tracing them, as well as recording an unknown number of images that have been cut or scratched into the surface. I hope that Archaeology Magazine will follow up on that and show us what they find.

Zorich, Zach, Drawing Paleolithic Romania, p. 14, from Archaeology Magazine, January/February 2012.

1 comment:

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