A cave painting in Cavan depicts a scene where early humans disagreed over the division of the bill – Waterford Whispers News
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A cave painting in Cavan depicts a scene where early humans disagreed over the division of the bill – Waterford Whispers News

A newly discovered cave painting in Cavan, Ireland, believed to be older than Paleolithic-era cave paintings found in Indonesia dating back more than 40,000 years, reveals how the long-standing cultural practices of the native Irish population can be traced back thousands of years.

The painting discovered in a recently discovered cave outside Belturbet depicts Neanderthals eating a communal meal, likely consisting of mammoth meat, with the additional elements of the painting fascinating geneticists, anthropologists and paleontologists alike.

“You can see here, a character has his fists raised in anger, probably saying ‘thanks to me, apparently I have to foot the bill for this tight old hai? And he didn’t pay a cent for stone carvings last time at all,'” speculated prominent cavanologist Tom O’Keefe, who spoke to WWN at a local cafe in exchange for tea and a sandwich.

Initially at odds over how to split the bill, the cave painting depicts even more tense discussions.

“This section appears to show everyone digging into their loincloths and pulling out empty pockets to indicate that they must have left their coin purses at home, and in the foreground, two brothers argue over the amount given to a niece as a communion gift 30 years earlier,” O’Keefe added, of a find that validates centuries of stereotypes about the county.

“What interests me most is the fact that a Cavan man has agreed to go out for a meal,” O’Keefe concludes, picking up the journalist’s sandwich before asking: “You’re probably not going to finish it, dinner’s taken care of, hai.”

The caves will be opened to the public once locals agree to pay a 50-cent entrance fee, which comes from a charitable donation.