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Women Made Oldest Cave Art

Science & Tech  (tags: archaeology, discovery, investigation, research, cave art, women )

- 1962 days ago -
Were the First Artists Mostly Women?Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturns.


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Lydia S (155)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 5:15 am
Interesting , The cave art is fascinating & lovely a true treasure no matter the gender of the artist .

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 9:23 am
Of course they're spectacular---women are very creative! I really do believe the hand prints is their signature. Thx Giana

Roger G (148)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 1:15 pm
noted, thanks

Jamie Clemons (282)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 1:46 pm
girls rule

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 3:15 pm
Noted, thanks.

Dot A (182)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 3:20 pm
not surprising
yet, it needed to be recognized!

Thanks, Giana!

Winn A (179)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 4:13 pm
Of course they did and I bet there were beautiful!

Terry V (30)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 5:36 pm
Makes perfect sense to me. Many thanks!!!

Helen Porter (39)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 5:52 pm

We are beginning to learn so much about the cave and dinosaur times. Scientists have expressed the theory that the world was "destroyed" by nuclear. One of their clues is that undigested vegetation was found in the mammoths' stomach.

Of course, we egotistical humans like to think "never has there been a civilization like ours."

I have a question for our highly esteemed scientists, if the world was "destroyed" by nuclear, and if the cave people were so uneducated and primitive, Who invented the nuclear?

Nelson Baker (0)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 6:05 pm
Very interesting.

Karen Kersten Chestney (112)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 9:38 pm
Thanks so much for this article. I love stuff like this. I'll stick with the Shaman theory. Makes more sense to me..

Colleen L (3)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 10:01 pm
Fascinating. Thanks Giana

Anne F (17)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 10:02 pm
Intriguing -

Marie W (67)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 10:03 pm
Women always ignored.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 1:22 am
Isn't it interesting, that textbook pictures of "Cave people", ALWAYS showed ONLY the men as artists - ALWAYS - and we just accepted that without questioning!
Yes, Women were often Shamans - as were TRANSGENDERED people. I suppose it hasn't been done yet - but it would be INTERESTING to see a study of TRANSGENDERED men's and women's hands, to see if there were differences and similarities! That would give even FURTHER clues as to the handprints!

Very many of the dots and markings that early cave explorers couldn't figure out, have turned out to be CALENDAR markings showing PHASES OF THE MOON - which are also WOMEN'S MENSTRUAL CYCLES. Women would definitely be interested and aware of that!
Also, small figures, sculptures, of obese or pregnant women, called "Venus" figures, were supposed to represent "CaveMEN's Ideals of Beauty" and "Worship of Fertility Goddesses" {with sortof a "wink, wink" lewd implication...}. Perhaps the Women were interested in representing THEMSELVES as pregnant - nobody ever thought of that!!!!! Our Cultural Biases, and Patriarchal Biases, are showing all over the place!!!

So many possibilities, and topics for speculation, now raised... perhaps the handprints were made mostly by Women, and ALSO by Transgendered men.... Perhaps that has something to do with ANIMALS being represented as Pregnant. As we know, LGBT people are drawn to the Arts... maybe that was also true way, way back then!

It is now believed that Women started Agriculture... maybe Women began Mathematics, too, recording and keeping track of their Menstrual and Moon cycles, on cave walls! and seasonal and animal cycles.....

For example, what might all those black dots around the horse, signify... and ON the horse {if that's what it is...}... they are not "random", they must mean SOMETHING.... a Lost Language, even a Written Language, is just staring us in the face!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 1:52 am
In the many photographs, many of the hands indeed look "slender", not like you'd expect a big brawny mammoth-hunting man's hands to look! Of course, that may not say as much as the comparative finger-lengths...

While in one of the caves, the hands were put in some kind of paint and "stamped" on the cave walls, the much more common technique was to "stencil" the hands - the hand was placed against the wall and powdered paint was blown thru a tube around the image. There are mostly left-hand images, since most people would hold the tube in their right hands. A right-hand image would mean, the tube held in the left hand. It would be interesting to know if the men's and women's hands showed a difference of right- and left-handedness. This because Gay men, and creative people, often seem to be left-handed more often than other people are {this is an impression I have. I don't know if actual statistics bear this out}.

Julie W (33)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 3:28 am
When I went to school, women didn't exist in our history lessons - it was all only about men and their achievements. This is slowly beginning to change.

So I am wiling to believe that it was mostly women who did these paintings. It's possible they spent more time inside while the men were hunting. Then again, they spent a lot of time gathering wild foods.

Caroline S (78)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 3:37 am
Thank you so much for this article, Giana!
I can tell you that Pech Merle's cave is absolutely fantastic, I've been there. :-) To go into this cave and see all these handprints (and some footprints too!!!) and beautiful art paintings is really, really deeply moving and just fabulous!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 4:07 am
These caves were not "lived in" on a day-to-day basis. They would have been pitch-black inside with no light unless torches were carried in. Also they would have been damp and creepy, with other life-forms using them...
The "caves" people lived in, were rocky shelves and near the daylight. People STILL live in similar caves, in Spain! and a few other places.
The deep caves where the paintings are, were sacred spaces and like going down into the "womb" of Mother Earth. Probably used just by special people, "shamans", or for special ceremonies. They weren't "fun" places to go to!
One of the articles linked to this one, says that they are found to have SPECIAL ACOUSTIC QUALITIES, which would enhance any singing, chanting, or instrumental music. The paintings are found, not any-old-where, but WHERE THE ACOUSTIC QUALITIES ARE. There are lots of "paintable surfaces" that are UNTOUCHED, while the paintings cluster just in certain spots. Those paintings weren't "doodled" just for fun! They may also have been done under the influence of psychedelic drugs, or trances induced by chanting or praying or repetitive movement...
One theory, is, that the paintings were to RECORD Spiritual Journeys made by individuals. Certainly WOMEN took such journeys; as we still do.
Hey, Female Religious Leaders, i.e., Female Clergy! who says it's a bad idea...?

Aileen P (39)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 4:18 am
Thank you for sharing.

marie C (163)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 3:36 pm
Thank you

Bette-Ann Libin (11)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 4:50 pm
Of course they did! This is a surprise to whom? Women held (no longer hold) half the sky.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 6:12 pm
BMutiny Ab Fab posts! We women need to reclaim our power. We do not need to emasculate men to achieve our goals, we just need to empower ourselves as well all women. Young old etc.... Parity, equality, equal pay, justice regardless of gender. To the wonderful women who painted the beautiful cave murals, thank you for giving us so much.

Debra G (0)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 7:54 pm
After reading all of Jean Auel's "earth's children" series, this not so surprising. Ayla invented everything from fire to surgery to animal domestication, so why not art! ;-)

Amy L (112)
Friday October 11, 2013, 1:05 pm
Women are so awesome!

Franshisca Dearmas (89)
Saturday October 12, 2013, 5:44 pm
TY for sharing. It needed to be recognized! TY Giana

Sergio Padilla (65)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 10:41 am

Melania Padilla (123)
Wednesday February 12, 2014, 1:05 pm
Very interesting
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