Saturday, January 13, 2018


I honestly do not know why I find the story below so charming, but the picture of the camel is really good, it is unique, and represents a new subject added to the catalog of rock art imagery. Enjoy!

 Camel painting, Kapova Cave,
Southern Urals, Russia.,
public domain.

After some restoration work to remove built-up calcite layers a wonderful painting of a two-humped (Bactrian) camel has been revealed in a Russian cave, which raises questions about the travel patterns of prehistoric peoples. "The image, said to date back between 14,500 to 37,700 years, was found in the Kapova Cave, part of the Southern Urals mountain range, by renowned restoration scientist Eudald Guillamet. Located in Russia's Bashkir Ural Territory, the limestone grotto is almost a natural museum to Paleolithic art with more than 150 examples of ancient depictions." (Rees 2017)

Panel before restoration
(you can see the hindquarters
of the camel on the left)., 
public domain.

A press release from Lomonosov Moscow State University, quoted in stated that "the age of the drawings in this panel cannot be accurately established yet, but the results of uranium-thorium dating of the calcite deposits on which the image is painted, and which cover it, unambiguously show that the time period during which the drawing was made was during the upper Paleolithic age, which is no earlier than 37,700 years ago and no later than 14,500 years ago. In the course of excavating the Kapova cave, only the upper layer of deposits with traces of activity of Paleolithic artists, about 17,000 - 19,000 years ago, has been dated so far." ( 2017)

Kapova Cave map. 

Range of Bactrian Camel.

Also of great interest is the fact that the painted camel in Kapova cave is a very long distance from the historic range of the Bactrian camel. A couple of centuries ago the nearest that wild Bactrian camels ranged was over 1,000 miles from Kapova. I have been unable to find the information on Paleolithic ranges for this animal, but "this artwork confirms the belief that artists in the Upper Paleolithic could migrate over long distances, especially as camels were not native to this region during this time." ( 2017)

Mammoth panel, Kapova Cave,
Southern Urals, Russia.
public domain.

The paintings of Kapova have long been known and admired. More than 150 images of mammoths, wooly rhinoceroses, and large ungulates are to be found there, but the camel image only recently came to light during a careful restoration on the cave wall by renowned restoration scientist Eudald Guillamet. (Rees 2017) So much to see with no end in sight. What a wonderful world.

NOTE: Images in this posting were retrieved from the internet after a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on these reports you should read the originals at the sites listed below.

REFERENCES:, 27 November 2017.

Rees, Lindsay
2017 Prehistoric Russian Camel Painting Could Be 38,000 Years Old,

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