I came upon this article at the online Discovery News site Cave Art: Prehistoric Teen Graffiti? and how could I not blog about it?
For the better part of my adult life I have read these deep and sensitive explanations of the cave paintings - how significant and religious they were. It was like the wall paintings were the pre-historic equivalent of a diver "imaging" the perfect dive or a golfer "imaging" the perfect swing. Now someone has put forth the hypothesis that these were teenagers simply expressing themselves as teens do - today they have tatoos and piercings and brightly colored hair, back in the Stone Age it was cave painting animals "blood pouring out of their mouths and noses." They sat around afterwards telling the paleolithic version of Freddy Kruger stories...this sounds very familiar to someone who reared a son.
Interesting, too, is how not once did I see in my college textbooks descriptions of cave paintings that were anything resembling this:
"Female images dominate and are nude, almost every one full-figured above and below," said Guthrie. "Unlike the other animals, the sculpted, engraved and painted human females and female parts are sometimes done schematically, distilling and inflating the primary and secondary sex characters."
I think I took Bowdlerized Anthro 101.