The First Ancient Human Artists Were Women

handprints

Did women invent art? National Geographic reports:

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 decades of archaeological dogma.

Archaeologist Dean Snow analyzed hand stencils found in eight cave sites in France and Spain. Snow determined that three-quarters of the handprints were female. Women tend to have ring and index fingers of about the same length, whereas men’s ring fingers tend to be longer than their index fingers.

“People have made a lot of unwarranted assumptions about who made these things, and why,” said Snow, whose research was supported by the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration.

Because many of these early paintings showcase game animals, many researchers have proposed that they were made by male hunters. The new study suggests otherwise.

, , , , ,

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I suppose it depends.
    Was this the first image?

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Or maybe this?

  • atlanticus

    HAH…although there is still the possibility that all of the hand prints were made by gay men, who also have a similar ring-finger to pointer-finger ratio.

    In fact, come to think of it, my own ring fingers are notably longer than my pointer fingers, so according to this rationale–um, I’m either a dude or a dyke…my boyfriend will be so disappointed.

    • Calypso_1

      Depends on the nature of the boyfriend.
      Is your second toe longer than the hallux?

      • atlanticus

        Ew. And no. Monkey people… (I can pick up things with my toes, though). :P

        • Calypso_1

          Well that excludes you from a phenotypic marker for psychopathy. : )

          • atlanticus

            Oh, wow…thanks for giving me a real reason to be suspicious of those freaks. :P

          • Calypso_1

            In this case the trait would apply primarily to females. As far as preferences you have little to worry about. Lesbians typically have lower digit ratios. High digit ratios in women typically show preferences for more masculinized features.

          • atlanticus

            According to this site, the phrase “high digit ratio” implies less difference between the pointer and ring fingers:

            http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/04-finger-length-ratio-can-predict-aggressive-behavior-and-risk-of-disease

            “A high digit ratio — those with very little difference between the index and ring finger, or with a longer index finger [...]”

            *shrugs*

            That’s funny, though: I didn’t know it was a risk factor for knee arthritis. My knees have always been achy…to the point where I avoid running as an exercise. Damn.

          • atlanticus

            I notice the comment I made in reply to this never showed up, but apparently a “high digit ratio” actually refers to a smaller difference between the ring and pointer finger, even though that seems counter-intuitive. It’s just what was said in a Discovery article. (I guess the comment was cut because of the link? Meh.)

          • Calypso_1

            Yes you caught me, hands down. Digit ratio can be done with any of the digits but is most commonly 2:4. I glitched and was thinking of actual difference in size which is irrelevant. Since 2 is always the numerator in the fraction any division by a smaller number will be > 1 . Larger denominator will be = 1 & low ratio to < 1.
            However the long second toe is still a marker in females.

          • atlanticus

            “However the long second toe is still a marker in females.”

            …of psychopathy, not lesbianism, yes?

          • Calypso_1

            yes
            though keep in mind you would need a whole other host of characteristics as well.

        • The Well Dressed Man

          My dear, I suppose you might guess there are guys out here on the internet who are now wondering about your toes… pictures? ;)

          • atlanticus

            Tsk…I’m not stoopid. How much would one offer for such pictures? Between selling feet pictures and my burgeoning Turtle Erotica career, maybe I can quit my day job sooner than I thought! :D

          • The Well Dressed Man

            I knew I was in trouble as soon as I posted… I literally just locked up 120 gigs of very specific content in a really secure encrypted archive last night for 90 days. One really good pic could be so dangerous. I’ll follow up in January if you don’t mind. Have fun with the turtles!

          • Calypso_1

            Opening bid of a cnote for toes & a red slider.

          • atlanticus

            For cereal? Hm…a red-eared slider only costs $20, according to PetSmart. But what to do with it afterward…turtle soup?

            After all, they can live up to 40 years, and that’s quite a commitment…way more than $100 worth.

            I can’t just release it, as it’s already in the top 100 “most invasive species” list.

            (Isn’t the internet just so useful/maddening?)

          • Calypso_1

            No cereal. I would prefer the turtle be fed bean sprouts & blackberries. You can bill me.
            It may be invasive in some parts o the world but it is native to the southeast US.

          • atlanticus

            Do you live in the southeast US? Why don’t you just catch one and ship it to me? :P

          • Calypso_1

            I do, but shipping would cost more than purchase. Toe prophylactics would be advisable for wild specimens.
            hmmm….there’s always latex dip, very Mesoamerican.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            Please tell me this is not on it’s way to a crush video. Some of that stuff is so wrong.

          • Calypso_1

            Catch & release sir. I’ve only eaten a turtle (alligator snapper) in a survival situation & they are not that tasty in my opinion.
            Stilettos & fennel – that might be fun.

  • http://www.evolutionarylandscapes.net/ Jeremy Johnson

    Really cool. Love when these kind of discoveries overturn textbooks. Kindling all sorts of possibilities imagining what their cultures were like back then.

    • Iuwus

      oo i read something cool along those lines – “the ugly little boy” by asimov.

  • InfvoCuernos

    I guess women had more free time back before kitchens-lol.

    • Cortacespedes

      And laundry.

  • IrishPotatoGun

    If they were done men it would’ve been a bunch of cave paintings of dicks.

  • UnNamedAce

    Everyone makes art, regardless of gender and always has! Art doesn’t stereotype or limit itself by race, gender, culture creed or sexuality! Proof I guess. Did we really need it? Its nice to know though, that art was liberal back in the day. Could they do this with images etched into stone? I feel like that’s probably older art, though far less survivable over time given erosion and quarrying. Ever wonder how much art (or communication) has been lost to nature or for simple repurposing of materials over time? Or a message sent and then deleted because it was no longer needed in the short history?

  • COSMIC MAMA

    AND THEY WERE CUSHITE, ETRUSCAN, NUBIAN, AFRAKAN,, TAMOANCHAN, BLACK WOMEN… AND WE DID NOT USE A WHITE PIGMENT, JEALOUS AND HATEFUL OTHERS OVER THE LAST FEW HUNDRED YEARS HAVE WHITE WASHED, PAINTED OVER OR MADE REPLICAS TO PLAY AROUND WITH TO GIVE THEMSELVES AN ANCIENT HER-STORY… UNALTERED CAVE ART IN AFRICA IN CA IN SO AMERICA AND ALL OVER THE WORLD LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THE ABOVE 5TH GRADE “HAND ART PROJECT” PIECE OF SHYT! “IN THE END ALL TRUTHS SHALL BE REVEALED.”