Were Women The First Artists?

Here’s another point for the ladies! New research suggests that the ancient cave paintings that we once originally assumed was created be men were in fact created by women. Scientists originally believed the cave paintings were created by men because they paintings often revolved around hunting, which was mainly a male activity. However, Dean Snow, a professor of anthropology at Penn State University has spent the last decade working to prove this exact idea incorrect.

Inspired by John Manning, a British biologist who conducted research on the differences between male and female hands, his findings helped Snow sought counteract the male bias in science. Manning’s research demonstrated that the ring and index fingers of women hands are about the same length, while man ring fingers are generally longer than their index fingers. Snow applied this research to 32 ancient hand-prints from caves all over Europe; of the 32 he concluded 24 hands were female.

Despite the conclusions of Snow’s research, not all are willing to accept his theory so easily. Evolutionary biologist R. Dale Guthrie is somewhat skeptical of Snow’s findings. Guthries own research on the same subject insists that the hand prints could just as easily come from adolescent boys. Nevertheless, Snow has said that the feedback he’s received from other scientists has been overwhelmingly positive. Although he is curious as to why women were the artistic pioneers over 40,000 years ago, he is eager to let someone else find the answer; Snow is hopeful someone will take his research even further.

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