I previously wrote about the finding of the oldest cave painting in the UK which was a 14,000-year old painting found in a cave in South Wales. You can read about that post here. Of course, the oldest cave paintings in the world are perhaps 30,000 years old; probably the Chauvet caves in France. Today, however, I read of a new finding: these are six paintings of seals that have been found in caves on the coast of Spain, about 35 miles east of Malaga, and thought to be about 42,000 years old.
The article claims that these paintings of seals are the oldest known works of art in the world. But are they? In 2000 the BBC reported that archaeologists in Zambia uncovered evidence that early humans used paint for aesthetic purposes far earlier than previously thought. The team found pigments and paint grinding equipment believed to be between 350,000 and 400,000 years old. The oldest pigments previously found were 120,000 years old.