Earliest Prehistoric Art Discovered

Fossilized footprints, and more rarely, hand prints, can be found around the world; left as people went about their daily business, preserved by freak acts of geological preservation.

In new research an international team have discovered ancient hand and footprints high on the Tibetan plateau made by children. The team argues that these traces represent the earliest example of parietal art. Parietal art is paintings, drawings, and engravings on rock surfaces the sort of thing you would find in a cave, although the Tibetan traces are not in a cave.

The limestone on which the traces were imprinted dates to between around 169,000 and 226,000 BC. This would make the site the earliest currently known example of this type of art in the world. This discovery also adds to the research that identifies children as some of the earliest artists.

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