The Roots of our Creative Genius

Until recently, it was commonly held that humankind acquired artistic skills and intellectual capabilities only when our ancestors departed Africa and arrived in Europe some 40,000 to 60,000 years ago.

In recent years scientists have begun to question this.

Ten years ago, two archaeologists from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington found harpoon heads on the banks of the Semliki river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo dating back to more than 90,000 years ago. These harpoon heads suggested a much earlier presence of creative activity than previously believed.

Last week, yet another finding added to this theory as a team of researchers found rock paintings on an island in Indonesia as old as the famous European cave findings at Chauvet and Lascaux.

These two caves in southern France were until now thought to have the earliest cave paintings in the world but the recent Indonesian findings show that caves were being painted in completely separate parts of the world, at the same time.

Contrary to the Eurocentric scholarship, Europe was not the ground upon which humankind first expressed itself creatively.

Check out the full article on the Guardian.