Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Elusive Ice Age Art Volume 56 Number 5, September/October 2003
by Paul Bahn

[image] The faint rock engravings of birds eluded researchers for years. (Sergio Ripoll) [LARGER IMAGE]

Britain's first Ice Age cave art--faint engravings of birds, ibexes, and a wild ox--was recently discovered by a team of British and Spanish archaeologists in a cave at Creswell Crags in central England. Various caves at the site were occupied during the late Upper Paleolithic, and a handful of pieces of Paleolithic portable art were found there many years ago. Rock engravings, however, can be extremely difficult to detect, and this fact, together with the assumption that cave art is primarily a phenomenon of France and Spain, helps explain why these figures were not discovered until now. The find extends the reach of Western European cave art 300 miles north from Normandy.

© 2003 by the Archaeological Institute of America