La Pasiega, section C. Cave wall with paintings. The scalariform (ladder shape) composed of red horizontal and vertical lines (centre left) dates to older than 64,000 years and was made by Neanderthals. | P. Saura

Neanderthals Painted the World’s Oldest Cave Art

Frequently portrayed as brutish and uncultured, Neanderthals appear to be the artists behind paintings dating back to at least 64,800 years ago.

Dirk Hoffmann and Alistair Pike sampling calcite from a calcite crust on top of the red scalariform sign in La Pasiega | J. Zilhão
Perforated shells found in sediments in Cueva de los Aviones and date to between 115,000 and 120,000 years | J. Zilhão
Cueva de los Aviones, seen from the breakwater of Cartagena harbor | J. Zilhão