Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/10/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Analysis of ancient paintings show a distinct, feminine hand they say

According to a new study, prehistoric cave art paintings, which are long thought to have been made by male hunters to commemorate their kills may actually have been the work of women. This new assertion rattles the widely held archaeological belief that mankind's first artists were mostly men engaging in some sort of magical ritual.

The handiwork of women -- or teenage boys? The debate continues.

The handiwork of women -- or teenage boys? The debate continues.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/10/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Cave paintings, females, prehistoric man, air brushing


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was also widely thought that early cave paintings commemorated the thrill of the hunt as many feature as bison, reindeer, horses and woolly mammoths.

Archaeologist Dean Snow of Pennsylvania State University began his study 10 years ago after discovering the work of John Manning, a British biologist who had found that men and women's fingers have different relative lengths. Snow dusted off a 40-year-old book about cave paintings and found a picture of a hand stencil from the famous Pech Merle cave in southern France.

"I looked at that thing and I thought, man, if Manning knows what he's talking about, then this is almost certainly a female hand," Snow said. 

"There has been a male bias in the literature for a long time. People have made a lot of unwarranted assumptions about who made these things, and why."

Creating an algorithm using a reference set of hands from people of European descent, Snow's analysis determined that 75 percent of the cave art hands were female.

Snow's research suggests the woman's role in prehistoric society was much greater than previously thought.

The cave paintings were probably made using two techniques. Some individuals may have held their hands against the rock surface while holding a pigment filled tube in the other and blowing through the tube to spray the pigment, in an early example of "air brushing." Others may have spat the pigment directly from the mouth through pursed lips.

Hand stencils and hand prints have been found in 12-40,000 year old cave paintings in southern France and northern Spain, but they have also been found in Australia, Argentina, Africa and Borneo.

Snow's findings have not been universally accepted. Several years ago, evolutionary biologist R. Dale Guthrie performed a similar analysis of Paleolithic hand prints. Guthrie says the vast majority of hand prints came from adolescent boys.

Young boys would have explored caves for adventure, said Guthrie, an emeritus professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. "They drew what was on their mind, which is mainly two things: naked women and large, frightening mammals," he added.

Discover the true meaning of Christmas!

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Green

BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? Smog from India, China winds way to U.S., Canada Watch

Image of The smog in Asia, it must be noted is caused by more than just the burning of fossil fuels - it's comprised of nitrogen oxides, methane and other volatile organic compounds that combine to produce ozone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ripples in the global pond, half a world away, can have effects all over the globe. Researchers at Texas A&M now say that air pollution originating in both India and China, almost certainly affects global weather patterns, particularly in the United States and ... continue reading


MONSTER El Nino forming in South Pacific, will being devastating weather around the globe in 2014-2015 Watch

Image of We may see a sharp increase in severe weather events for 2014-2015.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to scientists, a massive El Nino is forming in the Pacific and it may be the largest such El Nino ever recorded. If true then the entire planet may experience an uptick in extreme weather events with serious consequences for life and property around the ... continue reading


World must turn to wind and solar to combat global warming, report says Watch

Image of Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world must turn to the wind or sun for its energy needs -- or face catastrophic consequences wrought by climate change. That's the news from a recent report from the United Nations on global warming. These devastating effects could take place as early as 15 ... continue reading


Former Indonesian tropical paradise reduced to garbage dump Watch

Image of The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As people in China's most air polluted cities cheerfully don face masks, a fisherman on Indonesia's Citarum River has blankly accepted his polluted fate. Once searching for fish, Herman, the name of the fisherman proffered to news reporters says he now looks ... continue reading


THIRD Oarfish sighting in Sea of Cortez stokes earthquake fears Watch

Image of A tour guide lies beside a beached oarfish specimen on the Isla San Francisco in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An oarfish has been found washed on an island beach in Mexico, leading to speculation if it is one of the two previously sighted and filmed last month, or if it is in fact a third specimen. If it is a third, it could fuel rumors of an earthquake since anecdotal ... continue reading


Japanese island consumes another in unusual volcanic activity Watch

Image of Two volcanic craters are shown on Niijima on November 22. The island emerged about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a spate of highly unusual volcanic activity, one Japanese island has merged with another nearby island. Niijima Island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last ... continue reading


Are these oarfish in Mexico predicting an earthquake? Tourists film TWO live oarfish trying to beach themselves Watch

Image of Oarfish are legendary harbingers of earthquakes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing new video shows two oarfish swimming just offshore in Mexico to the delight of ecotourists on a kayaking tour. The video, taken last March, shows the pair of fish possibly about to beach themselves. Oarfish are rarely sighted and legend associates their ... continue reading


MASS EXTINCTION: All life on Earth went extinct 252 million years ago Watch

Image of The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly all life on Earth became extinct 252 million years ago. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT scientists, the culprit was not an asteroid striking the planet, but a methane-spewing microbe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daniel ... continue reading


Bison, elk appear to be fleeing Yellowstone. Is supervolcano eruption eminent? Watch

Image of A supervolcano under Yellowstone could cause mass extinctions if it erupted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talk of a supervolcano eruption in Yellowstone National Park has hit the blogosphere after several people have posted videos of animals fleeing the sanctuary. A supervolcano eruption would destroy everything for hundreds of miles around and would plunge the planet into ... continue reading


Global warming is inevitable: It's time for a new ecology. Watch

Image of

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest revelation from climate scientists is that they now believe global climate change as a result of human activities is now inevitable and irreversible. Furthermore, it will affect everybody in the years to come-if it hasn't already. It is nigh time for a new ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 2:14, 22-32
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
1 [In a quiet voice Of David] Protect me, O God, in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:8-15
8 Filled with awe and great joy the women came ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2014 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter