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Earliest Neanderthal Cave Paintings Found

By: Allen Huang

Thousands of years ago, Earth was inhabited by many animals—and Neanderthals. Even now, scientists are still trying to find out how the Neanderthals lived in the years when apex predators lived in the territories of these pre-humans.

57,000 years ago, a group of Neanderthals used their fingers to mark walls in a cave in France. Modern humans, Homo sapiens, had not arrived in the region at the time. The lines, dots, and stripes the Neanderthals made are one of the earliest types of art.

Neanderthals would have slid their fingers across the walls of the cave to make the art. This technique is called finger fluting. It’s not clear what their art meant, but some researchers theorize that it is a record of what occurred during the day, while they hunted for food.

Researchers think that the art was sealed by a cave-in until the 20th century, when the cave was rediscovered and the art was found.

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