Starting in 2008, scientists took a fresh look at the fossils, using newer radiological dating methods.
Uranium found in fossils decays into stable products at a steady rate, creating a time stamp that scientists can read by comparing the ratio of elements in the specimen.
Recent developments in that process allow them to analyze the isotope ratios more accurately over smaller samples, Pace said.
He painstakingly studied samples across the bones, and came up with a date of 130,000 years old, plus or minus 9,400 years.
These dates open the floodgates for researchers to ask and answer questions about the rock art that have baffled them for decades. In some sites, paintings continued to be made for more than a thousand years.