In a remarkable feat of modern Drone Technology meeting ancient history, archaeologists, using drone cameras, have unearthed prehistoric cave paintings, around 7,000 years old, in remote parts of Spain. Researchers from the University of Alicante have utilized drones, a DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, to navigate and explore inaccessible mountain shelters in Alicante, thus revealing Neolithic artistry that dates back to prehistoric times.
Deploying these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the team delved into 18 caves in the Castellet-Barranc del Salt ravine and Port de Penáguila. In this endeavor, they discovered two mountain shelters featuring ancient wall art. The paintings depict archers, deer, and goats, with some seeming as though they had been struck by arrows. Given the richness of these art pieces, the researchers laud this discovery as one of the most significant in Spain's Neolithic rock art sites in recent decades.
In a study published last month in the Lucentum scientific journal, the team demonstrated the extraordinary capabilities of drone technology in archeological expeditions. The drones expedited the discovery process, locating the first signs of the cave art within days, an endeavor which conventionally entailed lengthy hikes to remote locations.
Following the initial discovery, the team meticulously examined and enlarged the photographs in Photoshop to further expose the cave paintings' details. Verification of the paintings' authenticity was conducted by climbers who confirmed the presence of a wide variety of painted figures in different styles.
He shared with Artnet News, “There are many inaccessible areas of the Alicante mountains. Using a drone to photograph walls is a quick method and this recent find means there are many prehistoric cave paintings to be found.”
This pioneering study serves as a testament to the incredible synergy between modern technology and archaeological exploration, propelling us further into the uncharted territories of human history.
The team hopes that their findings, which have been published in the scientific journal Lucentum, will pave the way for the issuance of a permit to more thoroughly investigate the area.
The team of researchers used a DJI Mavic 2 Zoom drone for their work. Currently they are testing the new DJI Mavic 3 drone that features upgraded camera capabilities and obstacle avoidance.
Image credits: Photos taken from “Drone detection methodology (RPAS) applied to the prospecting of prehistoric rock art” by Francisco Javier Molina Hernandez, Virginia Barciela Gonzalez, and Ximo Martorell Briz.
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