Friday, September 30, 2011

Prehistoric cave etchings 'created by three-year-olds'

Prehistoric etchings found in a cave in France are the work of children as young as three, according to research.

The so-called finger flutings were discovered at the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths in Rouffignac, alongside cave art dating back some 13,000 years.

Cambridge University researchers recently developed a method identifying the gender and age of the artists.

It is thought the most prolific was a girl aged five. The artists ran their hands down the cave's soft surfaces.

"Flutings made by children appear in every chamber throughout the caves," said archaeologist Jess Cooney, who has pioneered the research in conjunction with Dr Leslie Van Gelder of Walden University in the US.

"We have found marks by children aged between three and seven years old - and we have been able to identify four individual children by matching up their marks.

"The most prolific of the children who made flutings was aged around five - and we are almost certain the child in question was a girl."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15109188