Crete is roughly the shape of Long Island; lies half way between Peloponnes and north Africa; and, with steep mountains, became popular in Neolithic times

Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and organic remains, offers some dates on the neolithic history of Crete. It is believed the neolithic period on Crete lasted from about 6800 to 3200BC. About 9000 or 8000 years ago, neolithic people that were farmers, with sheep, goat, and grains arrived on the island and were able to establish small settlements. Using local obsidian, and clay. They farmed, made advanced stone tools and sophisticated pottery.

Cretes early civilization did not know metallurgy yet. Many of the weapons, farming tools and art, were of obsidian, bones or clay and stone. Vindicating statuses, they shared and enjoyed small primitive carvings representing women. Different sculptures and pieces have been found on diverse places all over the island. Sharing an enjoyment, and perhaps even worship of the goddess of fertility. Too many, Crete was an advancement from the other Greek neolithic islands. Probably because it was closer to the eastern regions of Anatolia, Cilicie, and even Palestine. Included with Mochlos and Pseira. Some of the first ports, could have been established on Crete. Because of there location. Trade and commercializations would have been bigger.

Houses and neolithic evolution
Beginning with huts made of wooden pickets and hard pack ground surface. By the middle to late neolithic, stony walls and stronger beams became the commonplace. And, houses were now arranged with several rooms. Techniques of construction evolved, using bricks, stones, cobs; beautiful logs and masonry. Thru the end of the neolithic period, the population had significantly increased, and good looking architecture became an attraction.

Megafauna of Crete: Ice age, the pleistocene, & hunter gathers
Before neolithic times, and during the pleistocene. Native fauna of Crete included many. There was the pygmy hippo, pygmy elephant (paleoloxodon chaniensis), and dwarf deer (praemegaceros cretensis). Giant mouse (kritimys catreus); and insectivores; as well as, badger, beech marten and lutrogale cretensis. A kind of terrestrial otter. Instead of the larger carnivores, there was the almost flightless cretan owl. It was the apex predator. Most of these animals died out at the end of the last ice-age. It is believed hunter/gather humans played a significant part in this extinction. And, there knowledge, stories and location would have attracted others here.

Photo of a giant mouse’s mandibles, only its 1st and 2nd molars are visable

Did you know? In 2008 and 2009, in South Crete, scientists excavated, what they believed to be stone tools at least 130,000 years old. Which was a sensational discovery since most believed the earliest sea crossing was thought to occur around 12,000bc. The stone tools found in this, the Plakias region, included hand axes of the Acheulean type, that were made from quartz. It is now believed pre-homo sapiens or hominids crossed from Africa to Crete on rafts. And, currently, scholars are debating even later dated artifacts.

Undeciphered ‘Linear A’ script; Minoans, metallurgy; post neolithic natural disasters; and, disruption
Neolithic art and cultural influences are believed to originate and influence Crete from Egypt, the Cyclades (Greek islands) and middle east. Records were actually found on the island in a written undeciphered script known as ‘Linear A”. In combination with these scripts, archaeological records indicate Cretes superb palaces, houses, roads, paintings and sculptures. All of which originated in the neolithic period. During this time, main settlements of Knossos and Trapeza became well known. Crete was the center of Europes most ancient civilizations. And, during the late neolithic age, as commercialization and trade kept increasing. Metallurgy became more common. A peoples and culture called the Minoans, begin establishing themselves with even greater pottery, architecture, and style. Unfortunately, it was a earthquake around 1600bc; and, volcanic eruption in 1500bc. Followed by invasion, looting and fires from mainland Greeks, and others. That was there prehistoric downfall. Be sure to check out Crete, and some more neolithic architecture today.

Sources include: the atlantic, made in crete, wikipedia and google.

Beginning with the spread of farming, neolithic Greece started around 9000 to 8500 years ago.

Major sites:
Nea Nikomedeia
Franchthi Cave

The climate was ripe. During this period, growth occurred due to mixed farmings self initiating economy growth, plus the intelligence of modern human beings. It included agricultural innovations such as buildings and homes; tool and obsidian manufacturing; great pottery, art; commercialization and trade.

During the pre-pottery neolithic B period. From Island hoping, and the Aegean sea. Near east agriculturalists entered the Greek peninsula.
Archaeologists have divided the Neolithic period of Greece into six phases:
Aceramic, or, pre-pottery 6800–6500 BC;
Early neolithic 6500–5800 BC;
Middle neolithic 5800–5300 BC;
Late neolithic I 5300–4800 BC;
Late neolithic II 4800–4500 BC; and
Chalcolithic or final neolithic 4500–3200 BC.

Sites of Neolithic Greece

6800–6500 BC: Aceramic, or pre-ceramic
Characterized by the absense of baked clay pots. Communities such as Franchthi, Dedra (Argolid) and Argissa (Thessaly) had about 50 to 100 people living in partially dug out huts. Einkorn, emmer wheat, barley, lenils and peas were being cultivated. While others raised cattle, pigs, sheep, dogs, goats; and fished and hunted. Flint and obsidian tools were produced and various art was made from clay, seashells, bones, stone and whatever they could find. Settlements continued on.
Around this time, due to its popularity of being on a local hill, Minoan Knossos palace was established, possibly from migrants of Western Anatolia, and from oversea islands and Africa.
As populations begin to increase, the volcanic island of Milos became very popular. Its natural obsidian base was excellent for the manufacture and trade of obsidian for tools, weapons and growth. Though, while they mined, no permanent establishments are known here until the final neolithic. Around 4000bc.

6500–5800 BC: Early neolithic
Homes and clans begin construction of hearths and ovens during the early neolithic. The neolithic Greeks were now able to kiln and bake stoneware for added strength and resistance to puncturability. It is believed this tremendous accomplishment was accompanied by burial customs such as cremation, graves and cemeteries. It was the beginning of a tremendous time for resistance, trade, and the Greek economy.

5800–5300 BC: Middle neolithic
Again living spaces were developed during this period, and it included the development of clay house models. Along with the interior hearth and oven, additional architectural developments begin for use, such as greater stone foundations, timber beams, and thus an ability to create a higher roof; and, porches. On the eastern Attica peninsula, sites such as Nea Mari became known for using the larger timber posts to support stronger and larger walls and ceilings. While in Thessaly, extending the life and strength of the home, using carved and painted designs, log roof beams begin the commonplace. Known as ‘tsangli-type’ homes. These buildings became destiny of a better, more secured living space. And, the massive appearance of house models detonated a deliberate reference to this new technology and societal fact. Discovery of these house models, buried, close to hearths, near roofs, and below the floor offered insight to the challenges and growth. Offerings and supplications for protection of the household. From things like fires, and pests. Greater home design, and clay models presented a new age for Greece and neolithic architecture.

5300-3300 BC: Late or final neolithic stages (3)
Late Neolithic I

Characterized by great variety of pottery styles (such as, Tsangli-larisa, and Arapi), as well as greater tree, scrub; and, wooded area clearing. This great era of Greek neolithic society secured greater arable lands, and again, increased building. In order to create fields for animals and agriculture. The increase in land without trees, allowed farmers to easier cereal crops such as wheat, rye, millet and oat. As well as construct houses.
By this period garment weaving also became common. Animals such as sheep and goats were raised, and home, family and population size thus also increased.

The architecture style itself kept evolving. Beams, buildings and structures became stronger. Consisting of rectangular and megaron-type (Visviki); timber-post framed (Sitagroi, Dikili Tash-Macedonia), and with stone foundations. Most homes and buildings now had hearths inside, and some were surrounded by ditches.
During this period, in Dispilio-Kastoria, one of the most important lakeside settlements in Europe was additionally formed. Distinctive homes were built upon the lake, using timber post and framed structures. Here, a wooden tablet, incised with linear symbols was even found. It used similar symbols to those found in the southern Balkans and Vinca culture. It has been dated to around 5260bc.

4800-4500 BC: Late Neolithic II
Adding to the larger and more advanced buildings of late neolithic I were more exterior stone inclosures, or stone walls. Combined with the ditches, it aided to defend against wild animals, and demarcate, while also aiding to protect limits of the settlement. At this point. They may have needed it. Many communities had reached 100-300 members.

With the advents, came trade of silver and copper beads. During this period, signs of prestige really started to take course. Arts started to increase. The growth of leaf shaped arrow heads from Melian obsidian, Spondylus sea-shell jewelry, and specialized pottery production remained constant. All really aided to this era of knowability. And, that elite knowledge of metallurgy became a real threat at rule while the farmers, tool makers and working class continued on.

The era had also been known as Dimini culture because of the fantastic pottery remains in Dimini at Volos. Painted black on a whitish background, and incised pottery was the cumulation from the neolithic period. Among decorative motifs, spiral and checkerboard patterns predominated. It was amazing. Weaving and basketry motifs from this era must of been invigorating. From this era, the pottery, and clay designed human figurines were also rendered exceptionally schematic. Along with the more advanced pottery and clay designs, jewelry, building, metallurgy, farming and trade. The late neolithic II or Dimini, became a well known commonplace for European success.

4500–3200 BC: Final neolithic
Greece was a cool place. They had the pottery and storage containers, art; farming; architecture, buildings, and tool making; climate and strategic location. So begin the transition from stock-rearing and farming, to the economy of the bronze age. The first localized working of metals (gold, silver, copper) begin in this era. For the metallurgy reason, the final neolithic stage in Greece is also known as Chalcolithic. In Thessaly, it also became known as Rachmai. In southern Greece, and the Cyclades, it was referred to as Attika-kephala culture.

Over hundreds of years, transition occurred gradually. The agricultural; building, and tools; pottery and art populations. As well as, great climate, Greeks were able to import and trade tin, copper and metals. While evolving metallurgy techniques from there contacts in Asia Minor. Because of this technology and trade. During this time, caves, islands, and coastal zones became more inhabited. Certain low land settlements also seemed to acquire important size and significance, as commercial trade grew, so did Greece.
Gold strips, and figurines; silver earings (Alepotrypa-Diros); and copper pins (Sitagroi, Zas cave on Naxos cave in Attica), as well as the leaf shaped spear heads of obsidian were found, all over. Even as far as Macedonia. Trade and metallurgy became symbols of social prestige. Indicating social structures were changing. Though, social classes of the late Neolithic communities became distinguished. Into free men and slaves. In the Peloponnese and Aegean islands, treasure hoarders possessed gold pieces from as far as the Varna cemetery in Bulgaria. All confirm complex changes were taking place, in the final Neolithic age. This change phenomenon, continued until the Minoan, and early Mycenaean period, and so ended the Greek neolithic age.

Sources: Foundation of the hellenic world in Greece; Dartmouth colleges Aegean prehistory; and, wikipedia

Varna Necropolis has the oldest gold treasures and jewelry in the world dating from 4200 to 4600bc

Internationally considered a significant site for pre-history and metallurgy. Its not only the large and 6000 year old gold treasures (including a penis sheath), but many other treasures from the area.

Discovery and excavation
In October 1972, excavator operator Raycho Marinov accidently discovered one of the greatest archaeological finds from the past 60 years. He contacted the local museum. What they found contained some of the most sophisticated examples of gold and copper metallurgy; pottery; high quality flint and obsidian blades; beads; and, shells from the Neolithic era, and Chalcolithic Varna culture.

Many of the sites graves did not contain a skeleton, but had great gifts. The empty graves actually had the richest gold artifacts. Three thousand gold artifacts were found. At a weight of approximately six kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that epoch. It was initially identified as the grave of a prince, but is now thought to be that of the smith . It is the oldest cemetary where humans were buried with gold. The total gold at Varna Necropolis exceeds the amount found on earth from the period 7000-6000 years ago.

Museum finds
Nearbys Sredna Gora copper mine, and the mediterraneans spondylus shells were currency. Varna culture probably had huge trade relations with distant lands. Vindicated at this site. Chalcolithic Varna culture had some of the earliest sophisticated beliefs about status differences and afterlife.

Museum exhibitions
Since being on television, and touring the world. Many of Varna Necropolises artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archaeological Museum and at the National Historical Museum in Sofia.

Hisarlik is Turkish for ‘place of fortresses’, and to many the site of ancient Troy

Located in what was known as Anatolia. Hissarlik, is the Turkish name for an ancient city. It is part of Çanakkale, Turkey.
An artificial hill, or tell. It is elevated in layers over an original site.

Some of the earliest literacy work of Europe, the Iliad mentions Ilion and was probably Hisarlik. It is especially mentioned in ancient Greek. Many people work, research and visit the site each year.

Prospering in neolithic Anatolia, the area was ripe for settlement, and these area(s) existed as some of the first urban cities. Originating around 8000bc. Seas were recedeing, leaving a fertile, well watered flat area. Above the farming areas and natural waterways, and the hills were large enough to support building. Both Çatalhöyük, and Hisarlik were well known neolithic settlements in Anatolia.

Homer wrote many poems about Troy, and it was visited by Caesar and Alexander the great. Though, it does not say much about the builders. Historians have argued the trojan war (and others), were sydications of numerous events that stretched back centuries. It is also argued that Troy was not an area at all but district inhabited by trojans. There is more information on other sites online. Significant facts remains, that for over two millennia a thriving civilization existed at Hisarlik.

Archaeological excavation
In the early to mid 19th century, a hill, Hisarlik tell, was identified as a possible site of ancient Troy. Identifiers were famous archaeolgists Frank Calvert, and Heinrich Schliemann.
Since 1871, the site has been under almost-constant archaeological excavation. Many rare artifacts have been found.

Troy 7 is an important archaeological layer
From 1300 to 950bc, a layer of Hisarlik coincides with the collapse of the Bronze Age and is thought to be the site of the Trojan War.

Whats known regarding the origin of covid-19, and, what remains a unknown?

During 2021, a world health organizations team was tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus. Including their security personnel to keep a watch outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Remaining unknown. The precise origin of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes covid-19, continues to be a source of contentious debate. Two theories dominate. Infection from animals; and/or, a “lab leak” associated with the research in Wuhan, China. It was were the first cases of an unusual pneumonia-like illness were reported.
Intelligence agencies were able to reach a consensus when US President Joe Biden asked in May 2021. Most favored, with “low confidence,” the natural spillover theory. Peer-reviewed scientific papers published last year, also publicized that the virus came from animals sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
Though critics point out that investigators did not find any source of virus-infected animals. Looking into the origin the lack of diseased animals, in fact was reiterated last year by US Republican staff on a Senate committee. Importantly, it also raised questions about safety protocols at the labs. While not ruling out a natural spillover, staff claimed the most likely start was from a research-related incident.

What new evidence has emerged about the origin of covid-19?
The intelligence community recently produced an updated on the 2021 version to Biden. All in all, it has not changed. Though, on Feb 26th, 2023, the Wall Street journal reported energy department shifted shifted from neutral to low confidence regarding a lab leak. It is unclear why the energy department shifted its view because the intelligence report is classified.
Four other large agencies and the national intelligence council all claim natural origin with low confidence. Continuing to state with moderate confidence. The FBI still favors laboratory origin.

Why is the Energy Department involved in covid investigations?
The Energy Department runs projects on quantum physics and fusion energy. They have major national laboratories spending billions on scientific research every year. Media had initially reported, covid analysises were performed by a little-known scientific team specializing in coming into view security threats. And, last week, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told news networks “US president Biden wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here.”

What evidence exists for a lab leak?
Wuhan Institute of Virology is the primary focus of the lab leak. It is a major research center that has performed extensive work on coronaviruses.
Because it originated in China, different versions of the lab leak theory require some level of secrecy by researchers there. It also includes scenarios like accidental release without anyone realizing. Example. Bats are ancestral sources of corona viruses. So the lab collects bats. Someone involved in the catching or scientific testing, could have inadvertently introduced the virus to others in Wuhan.
Because the lab manipulates viruses, it could have made them more transmissible too. Goals of such research on how a pathogen may evolve and become a threat are part of there scientific studies. Most critics declaim this.
One proposal has been pointed to by supporters of the lab leak. The experiment, they argue, could be a recipe for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes covid-19. The experiment, funded in part by the national institutes of health, and through grants to the organization ecohealth alliance, have become turbulent, and a political hardship.
Scientists who analyzed it claim the experiment(s) could not have produced SARS-CoV-2. However critics believe this kind of viral manipulation. Ones that create novel viruses, or enhances their transmissibility. Could have led to the creation of SARS-CoV-2 (the corona virus that causes covid 19)
Current bottom line is, little evidence the virus, or its progenitor was in any laboratory before the outbreak in late 2019. Chinese scientists have said they were not working with the virus. Chinese officials, however, have not been cooperative with international investigators. World Health Organization even recently abandoned an effort to probe origins. Citing political obstacles.

What is the evidence for a natural origin?
Given history, many scientists line up the facts, which viruses typically start with spillover from other creatures. Recent examples include SARS, a previous coronavirus outbreak from 2002. It had been genetically traced to horseshoe bats.
A fish market called the Huanan Seafood Market was where a large percentage of early SARS-CoV-2 infections had been documented. Last summer, the journal Science published two papers in favor of the market as the epicenter of the outbreak. The market, they said, was in an area of Wuhan were conditions ripe for infection and spread. The narrative is still missing which animals, or where they may have come from. The market was closed and cleaned after people started getting sick and dying. And, all the animals were culled a few days after the outbreak.

So will we ever know the origin of covid?
Given the effects of covid 19. Issues may never be addressed to widespread satisfaction. Nearly 2.5 years later, the issue has become so politicalized that proper reasoning has been disturbed.
New scientific narrative or intelligence could change things. For example, employees could report conditions at the Wuhan Institute of Virology before the outbreak. And, researchers could find progenitor SARS-CoV-2 in archived tissues sample of commercially trafficked animals.
Importantly, we will probably never know but have narrowed it down. We need to ask a couple important questions. Is lab research on viruses totally necessary? And, especially given history more modernly, should we be using bats in experiments?

In 1867, in a field in Denmark, a little boy discovered something magical. Hindsgavl Dagger is Hindsgavldolken

It was immediately brought to the property managers attention. He offered the boy the equivelant of 90 dollars, and he couldn’t refuse. The manager then gifted it to the owner of the estate.  Basse Fonss of Hinsgavl Manor.

Hingsgavl manor was apart of the Hindsgavl. It’s the pieces of land that connect Frederica and Middlefart (centre of Denmark).

As the Exposition Universelle at Paris approached in 1889. Danish collectors realized they needed something big. The museum never lent out objects but always sent copies.  Since Hindsgavldolken was private owned, Basse Fonss was approached. He agreed to lend it out. 

After the Exposition universelle, the museum and collectors were so impressed with its attraction and features. They made Basse an offer he couldn’t refuse.   

Production of stone daggers continued into the bronze age. Especially in the north. It’s believed this dagger was produced around 4000 years ago. It is almost 30cm long, and the blade thickness is less than 1cm. It shines a beautiful black and brown.

Did you know? The 100 krone danish bank note (about 15.5$ usd) features Hindsgavldolken, or Hindsgavl Dagger.

In local Inuktitut language, the arctic ground squirrel is known from the thril it emits when being threatened “t’sik-t’sik”

Found in the Arctic and Subarctic of North America and Asia. Arctic ground squirrel is mostly identified as Urocitellus parryii; or, in Inuktitut: ᓯᒃᓯᒃ, siksik.   

People in Alaska, particularly around the Aleutians, refer to them as “par’kee” squirrels.    Most likely because they are easy to snare, shoot or trap. There pelt is also relatively easy to skin. Those little firs bridge together good, for the attractive collar on many jackets and clothing.

There are 10 Subspecies:
        U. p. ablusus Osgood, 1903
        U. p. kennicottii Ross, 1861   
        U. p. kodiacensis Ross, 1861
        U. p. leucostictus Brandt, 1844
        U. p. lyratus Hall and Gilmore, 1932
        U. p. nebulicola Osgood, 1903
        U. p. osgoodi Merriam, 1900
        U. p. parryii Richardson, 1825
        U. p. plesius Osgood, 1900
        U. p. stejnegeri J. A. Allen, 1903
(Source wikipedia jan 2023)

Arctic squirrels have a beige and tan coat with a white-spotted back. There face is a little shorter with small ears, a dark tail and white markings around its eyes.
From summer to winter there coats change to red and yellow colorations, along with the cheeks and sides of the animal. In the fall, these patches are replaced with silverish fur.

Size: The average adult length is around 39 cm (15 in). Adult females are close to 750 g (26 oz). Males are around 100 g (3.5 oz) heavier.  Because of the cold and sometimes sparse climate, is difficult to give a year round average mass.

‘Par’kee’ or the “t’sik-t’sik” thriling squirrels are native to the arctic tundra. Mountain slopes, river flats, banks, lakeshores and tundra ridges. They live in sandy soil due to easy digging and good drainage.  The shallow burrows are in areas where the permafrost does not prevent them from digging. Arctic squirrels can excavate near the permafrost. And, greenhouse gasses like methane and carbon dioxide can be emitted.

Prey: arctic fox, red fox, wolverine, lynx, bear, eagles even pine marten have been known to snack on arctic squirrel.

They wake up in the spring hungry. Par’kee” squirrels feeds on grasses, sedges, mushrooms, bog rushes, bilberries, willows, roots, stalks, leaves, leaf buds, flowers, catkins, and seeds. They will also feed on insects, and are opportunists. Occasionally they will even feed on dead warm blooded creatures such as mice, snowshoe hares, caribou and other squirrels. In the late summer, the arctic ground squirrel begin to store food in its burrow so it has food when it wakes up in the spring.

Did you know? A squirrels ability to hiberate is being studied for better preservation of human organ transplant, and connection between brain, heart and muscle cells.

Arctic squirrels heart rate drops significantly during hibernation compared to when there out in the spring and summer. “T’sik t’sik” (thril noise). Your noticed. Sometimes as much as 100-200 beats per minute.  There blood is special too.  When asleep arctic squirrel body temperature have been recorded as low as −3 °C (27 °F).   Somehow they emit ice nucleators which are necessary for the development of ice crystals. In the absence of them (ice nucleators), body fluids can remain liquid while in frigid state. ‘Par’kee’ or arctic squirrels, along with marmot and little brown bat are one of the few small arctic animals that can hibernate.   

The arctic squirrel have been recorded in the north tens of thousands of years.  It is not yet extinct. Let hear it for our loud little thriling friend.

In the environment surrounding Eyzies-de-Tayac Sireuil village. Lascaux is located some distance from the major concentrations of decorated caves and inhabited sites. With cave drawings estimated to 16 or 17 thousand years.

The area has no fewer than 37 decorated caves and shelters, as well as an even greater number of habitation sites from the upper paleolithic (cave man) era. These sites are the highest concentration in Europe.
Geologically, the Vézère drainage basin covers one fourth of the département of the Dordogne (river). At its centre point, the river’s course is marked by a series of turns flanked by high limestone cliffs.

The entrance to the Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat when his dog, Robot, fell in a hole, in 1940. It was getting late in the year, and in an dangerous area, so he decided to return with some friends another day. They entered carefully through a 15m or 50 feet shaft. The teenagers discovered that the cave walls were covered with depictions of animals. Some dating to an estimated 17,000 years.

6,000 figures: animals, human figures, and abstract signs, in about 600 areas were found.
Using mineral pigments, red, yellow, and black colours were crushed and mixed from a complex multiplicity of plants and minerals. Included was iron compounds such as iron oxide (ochre), hematite, and goethite, As well as manganese-containing pigments. These were a little more advanced than taking charcoal from a stick and drawing on the wall. Many of the images are now precisely studied. 364 paintings are horses, as well as 90 paintings of horned deer. Also represented are cattle and bison, each representing 4 to 5% of the images. There are a bunch of other unique images, includes seven felines, a bird, a bear, a rhinoceros, and a human.

The most famous section of the cave is the Hall of the Bulls where bulls, equines, aurochs, stags, and even a cave bear is depicted. One of the 36 animals represented here is a bull. It is 5.2 metres (17 ft 1 in) long. The largest animal discovered so far in cave art. And, some of the bulls in this drawing appear to be in motion.
On some of the other cave walls, unique art methods were used. It is believed colour was applied as a suspension of pigment in either animal fat or calcium-rich cave groundwater or clay, and applied using swabbed or blotted paint, instead of brush. In a few other areas, the colour was applied by spraying the pigments by blowing the mixture through a tube. Many images are faint or totally deteriorated. Where the rock surface is softer, some designs were incised into the stone.

Did you know? After the cave had been opened, 15 years later, by 1955, carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, and other contaminants produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. As air condition deteriorated, fungi and lichen increasingly infested the walls. Consequently, the cave was closed to the public in 1963, and instead, it was decided 4 replicas get created nearby the cave site.

Altamira cave is in Spain, and very well known.

Formed in the twisting calcareous rock passages of Mount Vispieres. Around 13,000 years ago a rockfall sealed the Altamiras entrance. Its contents were preserved until its eventual discovery, which occurred after a nearby tree fell and disturbed the fallen rocks.

It was 1868 was when Modeso Cubillas discovered the Altamira cave. The cave is approximately 1,000 m (3,300 ft) long. A few years after its discovery, feeling so inclined, Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, and the university of Madrid begin studying the cave. In 1880, with support of others, reports of the cave were published, to initial public acclaim. It began a debate began about the abstract thinking for the time, and if humans were able to draw this way 10s of thousands of years ago. It stopped around 1902, (and continued on), when more caves were found in this and the French region(s).

Did you know? Before 18,500; and, after 15,000 years ago there was evidence of human life. During the two millennia in-between, in was believed prehistoric megafauna inhibited the cave.

Cave life 10,000:
The ‘polychrome ceiling’ is the most impressive feature of the cave. Depicting a herd of extinct steppe bison (bison priscus) in different poses; two horses, a large doe, and possibly a wild boar. Human occupation was limited to the cave mouth, although paintings were created throughout the length of the cave. Charcoal, ochre and hematite were used to create the images. Diluting these pigments to produce variations in intensity and creating an impression of chiaroscuro. They also exploited the natural contours of the cave walls to give their subjects a three-dimensional effect.

Did you know? The drawings were very well preserved. And, it could have been the oils and gases used in lanterns. A number of years after Altamiras discovery, in early 1900, it was discovered early ancestors or those from the stone age could had used marrow fat.

Visitors and replicas:
During the 1970s, and 2000s, the paintings were being damaged by visitors carbon dioxide and vapor. Altamira was completely closed in the late 1970s; reopened for a bit, and again was closed in early 2000s.

Interested in seeing Altamiras reproductions?
The National Museum and Research Center of Altamira;
National Archaeological Museum of Spain;
Deutsches Museum Germany (1964); and,
Japan (1993).