15 June 2012
Vol 336, Issue 6087

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

COVER View of a ceiling in Altamira Cave, Cantabria, Spain (original image rotated 180°). The multicolor (brown and red) bison depicted here date to ~18,000 years ago but were painted on top of earlier single-color artwork (red). New uranium-thorium dates on calcite crusts show that the large (~50-centimeter) double-claviform figure (center right) is at least 35,600 years old, indicating that, at the latest, cave painting here began shortly after humans first arrived. See page 1409. Photo: Pedro Saura