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These Are The Handprints Of People Who Lived 40,000 Years Ago

Turns out humans have been fingerpainting for thousands of years.

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These stencils and paintings, discovered decades ago in prehistoric caves in Indonesia, have just been confirmed as some of the oldest in the world. Scientists now think they were made around 40,000 years ago.

Kinez Riza / Nature

Maxime Aubert, a scientist from Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia, analysed mineral deposits associated with 12 human hand stencils and two depictions of animals in the caves.

The oldest image is at least 39,900 years old, making it the oldest known hand stencil in the world.

Kinez Riza / Nature

This sort of art has been found before, but mostly in Europe. Scientists are yet to discover whether it developed independently across the world, or was already integral to human culture as people spread out from Africa into Asia and Australia, and then on to Europe.