palaeolithic archaeology

Cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Just a year after one of Spain’s most important historical sites, the Altamira cave, was reopened to the public, scientists are now saying tourists are causing permanent damage to one of the finest examples of Palaeolithic art anywhere in the world.

A total of 17 academics and 70 researchers from Madrid’s Complutense University have signed an open letter to Unesco arguing that public access to the cave “endangers a fragile legacy of great importance for our understanding of Palaeolithic society”.

Research that suggested strictly limited public access would not damage the cave – which led to the decision by the Spanish culture ministry to reopen – was a mistake, the Madrid-based experts say. Read more.