9,500-year-old baskets and 6,200-year-old shoes discovered in Spanish bat cave

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A collection of baskets and sandals found inside a bat cave in Granada, in southern Spain, were likely crafted by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer societies and are considered some of the oldest artifacts of their kind found in southern Europe, a new study finds.

This summer, archaeologists radiocarbon-dated the artifacts, which are currently housed at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. The 76 objects — which were originally discovered by miners working inside the cave system, known as Cueva de los Murciélagos (“Bat Cave”), in the 1800s — were constructed using organic materials such as wood, reeds and esparto (a perennial grass that commonly grows in Spain), according to a study published Sept. 27 in the journal Science Advances.

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