Etchings on a carved elk antler dating to nearly 11,000 years ago.
"A Stone Age-era artifact carved with multiple zigzags and what is likely a woman with spread legs suggests that fertility rituals may have been important to early Europeans, according to new research."
I can't help thinking that says more about the archaeologists than the artefact as it's not exactly 'obvious'. In fact 'she' looks more like a he between those so-called legs.
And what's this 'fertility' concept they're on about, in a small hunter gatherer society is having offspring really your main concern. And wouldn't most people just have children anyway, would it really be something you understood enough to scratch women on antlers about? You'd think you'd be more interested in the availability of animals to eat. If they genuinely think it's a woman they could stop being so coy and say they think it's about sex. But do you not think it could be anything really, a duck reflected in a pond for example.
I also am not convinced by their 'ooh lots of prehistoric art has zig zags but we think it's actually water in this case' (supports my duck theory at least) - so sometimes they're abstract but this time they're actually representative.
No one knows do they. And why should it even be Serious with a deep meaning? It could just be a bit of casual art, why shouldn't people have made such things in the past too? Archaeologists eh. I suppose they have to write papers about something :)
I feel certain that our ancient forebears understood exactly where babies came from and how they got there. I know that our ancient forebears loved to carve stuff onto rocks and bits of bone and antler. They were creative and artistic and because of those qualities I think we have evolved into what we are.
I work in education. Often, after a few years, I find school textbooks (particularly maths ones) to be decorated with drawings depicting a cock and balls, the anus, a ladies bifurcation or sometimes even breasts. Fertilty symbols if you like. Some of the drawings are rubbish. Some are more lifelike.
I could write a paper. Perhaps call it "Milk, Lemonade, Chocolate. A study in adolescent doodling on maths texts 1988-2011".