THE majority of prehistoric cave paintings may have been created by women, a study has found.
Archaeologists looked at hand stencils in France and Spain from around 40,000 years ago and compared the ring and index finger lengths. They discovered at least 75% of the 32 examples studied were created by women. This challenges the common belief that men made rock art as part of a hunting ritual.
According to National Geographic Society that supported the research, about three-fourth of the hand stencils found in caves in southern France and northern Spain were probably made by females, accounting for the majority of the cave paintings in the given period.
Most of the researchers propose that hunter-gatherer men made cave paintings of animals to chronicle their hunts while the women towed the meat. The new find that women made cave paintings suggests that women too took the role of hunting.
“There has been a male bias in the literature for a long time. People have made a lot of unwarranted assumptions about who made these things, and why. It wasn’t just a bunch of guys out there chasing bison around,” Snow told the National Geographic.