20,000-year-old cave painting ‘dots’ are the earliest written language, study claims. But not everyone agrees.

Kenneth Palmer

A 21,500-year-old cave portray depicting an aurochs, an extinct cattle species, in the Lascaux caves in France. Discover the four dots (in the electronic yellow circle), which may possibly have had a particular that means for ice age peoples. (Picture credit rating: JoJan Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.))

At minimum 20,000 several years ago, individuals dwelling in Europe made putting cave paintings of animals that they paired with curious indications: lines, dots and Y-shaped symbols. These marks, which are nicely known to scientists, may relate to the seasonal behavior of prey animals, making the indications the 1st regarded crafting in the history of humankind, a new study claims.

Whilst Paleolithic cave art is far better recognized for its graceful horses and ghostly handprints, there are thousands of nonfigurative or summary marks that scientists have begun researching only in the earlier handful of many years. In a study posted Jan. 5 in the Cambridge Archaeology Journal (opens in new tab), a staff of students suggests that these seemingly summary dots and strains, when positioned around animal imagery, really stand for a refined writing technique that points out early humans’ comprehending of the mating and birthing seasons of significant nearby species.

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