23,000 year old stone wall found at entrance to cave in Greece

Mar 22, 2010
An undated handout photo provided by the Greek Culture Ministry shows an prehistorical stone wall. The ministry said Greek experts discovered the oldest stony wall of the country, blocking the entrance of a cavern for 23,000 years in Thessalia, in the north.

The oldest stone wall in Greece, which has stood at the entrance of a cave in Thessaly for the last 23,000 years, has been discovered by palaeontologists, the ministry of culture said Monday.

The age of the find, determined by an optical dating test, singles it out as "probably one of the oldest in the world", according to a ministry press release.

"The dating matches the coldest period of the most recent ice age, indicating that the cavern's paleolithic inhabitants built it to protect themselves from the cold", said the ministry.

The wall blocked two-thirds of the entrance to the , located close to Kalambaka, itself near the popular tourist area and monastic centre of Meteora in central . Greek palaeontologists have been excavating the site for the last 25 years.

Explore further: Woolly mammoth skeleton sold at UK auction

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Historic Italian cave may collapse

May 01, 2008

Archaeologists are warning a signature Stone Age cavern in southern Italy, called the Paglicci Cave, is in imminent danger of collapse.

Fifth century BC objects returned to Greece

May 19, 2009

Greece on Tuesday reclaimed scores of ancient objects dating to the fifth century BC that Belgian, British and German authorities returned, the culture ministry said.

Earliest evidence of our cave-dwelling human ancestors

Dec 19, 2008

A research team led by Professor Michael Chazan, director of the University of Toronto's Archaeology Centre, has discovered the earliest evidence of our cave-dwelling human ancestors at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.

Recommended for you

Woolly mammoth skeleton sold at UK auction

11 hours ago

The skeleton of an Ice Age woolly mammoth fetched £189,000 ($300,000, 239.000 euros) at auction Wednesday as it went under the hammer in Britain with a host of other rare or extinct species.

Recreating clothes from the Iron Age

20 hours ago

A few years ago, the oldest known piece of clothing ever discovered in Norway, a tunic dating from the Iron Age, was found on a glacier in Breheimen. Now about to be reconstructed using Iron Age textile techniques, ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
5 / 5 (1) Mar 22, 2010
What is an optical dating test?
jonnyboy
4.3 / 5 (3) Mar 22, 2010
Hmmmmmmmmm......lemme look at that..........I would guess it's about 20-25,000 years old...........LOL

But seriously, this link will explain it to you
http://en.wikiped...l_dating
NeilFarbstein
2.8 / 5 (4) Mar 22, 2010
they really dont know why it was built. Maybe they were holing up in a cave to keep warm but the wall might have been there to keep invaders or animals out.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Mar 22, 2010
It appears to be less "built" than "piled". Maybe just the remnant of a slurry of rubble washed into the cave mouth during the Flood? I jest!
Mandan
not rated yet Mar 23, 2010
"Optical dating is a method of determining how long ago minerals were last exposed to daylight. It is useful to geologists and archaeologists who want to know when such an event occurred." The Wikipedia

neoconstantine
not rated yet Apr 05, 2010
The age of the our specie is determined circa 80000 years. This find has 23000 years. Over 57000 years, people could learn to build walls.
Thulefoth
not rated yet Apr 08, 2010
People appear to have been making serious maritime voyages for twice this long.

High-class art had hung on the walls of French caves, for 10,000 years when this wall was built.

The great majority of people would not have a cave available: most lived in open settings, and built structures for shelter and other purposes

But most construction was of organic materials, and did not last.

We probably get some wrong ideas, by placing too much weight on what we find in caves: they were never "representative" living-contexts.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.