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Code written in Stone Age art?

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From Alison George at New Scientist:

A painstaking investigation of Europe’s cave art has revealed 32 shapes and lines that crop up again and again and could be the world’s oldest code

Von Petzinger, a palaeoanthropologist from the University of Victoria in Canada, is spearheading an unusual study of cave art. Her interest lies not in the breathtaking paintings of bulls, horses and bison that usually spring to mind, but in the smaller, geometric symbols frequently found alongside them. Her work has convinced her that far from being random doodles, the simple shapes represent a fundamental shift in our ancestors’ mental skills. (paywall) More.

See also: Australia: Sophisticated inland campsite 50 000 years ago

The search for our earliest ancestors: signals in the noise

and

Early human religion: A 747 built in the basement with an X-Acto knife

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