Kids’ fossilized handprints may be some of the world’s oldest art

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About 200,000 years ago, ice age children squished their hands and feet into sticky mud thousands of feet above sea level on the Tibetan Plateau. These impressions, now preserved in limestone, provide some of the earliest evidence of human ancestors inhabiting the area and may represent the oldest art of their kind ever discovered.

In a new report, published Sept. 10 in the journal Science Bulletin, the study authors argue that the hand and footprints should be considered “parietal” art, meaning prehistoric art that cannot be moved from place-to-place; this usually refers to petroglyphs and paintings on cave walls, for instance. However, not all archaeologists would agree that the newfound prints meet the definition of parietal art, an expert told Live Science.

Traces left by ice age children

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