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Found: 70 Hidden Cave Paintings From 14,500 Years Ago

There are horses, goats, deer and an impaled bison, among others.

The drawings on the wall. (Photo: Provincial County of Bizkaia)

In a cave in northern Spain’s Basque country, at least 70 cave paintings have been hiding for thousands of years. Atxurra cave was first discovered in 1929, but a recent survey, in the fall of 2015, uncovered a series of drawings dating back approximately 14,500 years, to the later part of the Upper Paleolithic period.

The drawings show horses, goats, deer and bison, including one that looks to be impaled by spears. They were found almost 1,000 feet into the cave, along ledges about 13 feet above the cave floor. Once, they might have been blackened with coal.

Paintings of bison, as they appear now (above) and as they might have appeared (below). (Photo: Provincial County of Bizkaia)

The pictures were found by an archaeologist, Diego Garate, and a caver, Iñaki Intxaurbe. The cave’s since been closed off to the public so that the art can be studied and preserved. Garate believes these 70 drawings, found across 14 panels, will be recognized as one of the most important archaeological finds in this region. There may be more to discover in this cave, too–there’s a third section that’s yet to be explored.

Bonus finds: 82,000 artifacts at the new site of the Museum of the American Revolution

Every day, we highlight one newly found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com