New Study to Blow Your Mind: The First Artists Were Women

by Katie Fustich

For years, archaeologists have believed the first cave-paintings to be composed predominantly by men. “There has been a male bias in the literature for a long time,” says archaeologist Dean Snow. But now, new research has the field thinking it was women who were behind the art all along. 

The aforementioned homie Dean Snow recently studied the outlines of handprints found in French and Spanish cave art. By analyzing the lengths of the fingers, Snow concluded that no less than 75% of the handprints found were created by women.

“People have made a lot of unwarranted assumptions about who made these things, and why,” Snow said. These assumptions equate to years archaeologists assuming the paintings were created by males as a record of the hunt, or acted as a pre-hunting ritual to bring good fortune. But Snow asserts that women were just “as concerned with the productivity of the hunt” and played just as significant a role in the well-being of these ancient societies.

Of course, skepticism still surrounds the issue. A similar study was performed a few years ago that concluded the handprints belonged to young men. Other studies have interpreted the paintings as the work of shamans who were looking at art as a connection to a spiritual world. 

Whatever the truth is behind these paintings may be impossible to ever know–but it’s exciting to see a layer of deeply-rooted sexism be shaken up by a new and exciting theory. Now just to sit back and wait for that lady-Indiana Jones movie and my archaeological fantasies will be complete!


Thanks to National Geographic

Image via National Geographic

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