Spotted horses and negative hand imprints, wall painting in the cave at Pech-Merle, France, ca. 22,000 BCE.

Many Paleolithic paintings include abstract signs and handprints. Some scholars think the Pech-Merle painted hands are “signatures” of cult or community members or, less likely, of individual painters.

Spotted horses and negative hand imprints, wall painting in the cave at Pech-Merle, France, ca. 22,000 BCE.

Many Paleolithic paintings include abstract signs and handprints. Some scholars think the Pech-Merle painted hands are “signatures” of cult or community members or, less likely, of individual painters.

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