Prehistoric fingerpainting

Prehistoric children as young as two drew on cave walls, writes Cosmic Log.

The tale of the “prehistoric preschool”  at France’s Rouffignac cave complex was laid out by Cambridge archaeologist Jessica Cooney at a conference on the archaeology of childhood.

Archaeologists measure the “finger flutings” to determine the artists’ age.

The researchers suspect that eight to 10 people, including four kids aged 7 or younger, were behind the ancient finger flutings. Children left marks in every chamber. One of them was apparently just 2 or 3 years old and may have been helped by a grown-up. “The most prolific of the children who made flutings was aged around 5 — and we are almost certain the child in question was a girl,” Cooney said.

Cooney said that child’s markings appear on cave ceilings more than 6 feet (2 meters) high, which would suggest that she was held up or put on someone’s shoulders to make the marks. One chamber was so marked up by children that it may have served as a “playpen of sorts,” she said.

Scientists have discovered a prehistoric paint workshop in South Africa.

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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Okay, Mom and Dad. We’ll be keeping your kids in the Deep, Dark Cavecare from nine to five.
    Lighting is expensive but they won’t get sunburned.
    Claustrophobia costs extra.
    I dunno about this.

  2. dangermom says:


  3. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I think we moderns have a tendency to forget that the Cavemen were human beings too! Of course their kids wanted to scribble on the walls and mimic adults. Chesterton talked about this, actually, positing at the time that some cave paintings may not have had deep totemic significance but might just be there because people like to paint and draw for each other…..