DUMB, BRU- TISH CREA- TURES THEY WERE, SO EVERY- BODY BELIE- VED – but then arche- ologists discovered remarkable paintings in three Spanish caves: a red linear motif in La Pasiega (Cantabria), a hand stencil in Maltravieso (Estremadura) and red-painted speleothems (mineral layers) in Areales (Andalucia). When the results of the uranium-thorium dating came back, it was a total surprise – they were at least 68 000 years old, made 20 000 years before the arrival of modern humans in Europe! Which means: These painting were definitely done by the dumb and brutish Neanderthals! Until now, it was thought that their artistic expressions was – if there wer any – limited to body ornamentations. Now the gap between Neanderthals and modern human beings is closed, the scientists are jubilant.